Shayfer James provides a surreal curiosity trip with “Crack A Bottle, Run A Bath” music video

A unique twist on the usual romantic advice, off his latest EP Hope And A Hand Grenade

If you’re still getting over the crushing commercial saturation of Valentine’s Day, Shayfer James has your cure, with his music video “Crack A Bottle, Run A Bath“. Exploring the complexities of romance and relationships, the track reminds viewers that their approach and perspective can make or break an experience. The accompanying video offers a blend of surreal elements, off-beat comedy, and taste of James’ signature charming darkness for the perfect delivery.

“The song is an upbeat, positive look at romance through a slightly unusual lens,” shared James. “The idea that anything can be worked through with enough conversation, a sense of humor, and an ability to let go of the past.” While the lyrical content weighs rather heavily, the message it delivers is that love should always include playfulness, forgiveness, and a willingness to communicate.

The visual cut provides a sharp contrast to James’ previous music video for the gothic, cabaret inspired “Mercy Down“. “Crack A Bottle, Run A Bath” offers a quirky shift into surrealist inspired shots, utilizing a doll-house and its figures, and providing comical relief with clown make-up, to remind viewers not take everything so seriously. Channeling a Wes Anderson style, it’s simply eccentric and entertaining. “I asked Kate Douglas, my close friend and collaborator, to direct this video,” said James. “She agreed to do it only if it ‘captures the Shayfer I know.’ She felt there was enough dark brooding stuff out there and that perhaps I should let my guard down a bit and let folks see my sense of humor. It was a hell of a day and we had a blast. It was also 95 degrees outside when I was dancing in those wool pants under the highway. Lucky for me the wine kept me focused.”

“Crack A Bottle, Run A Bath” comes off James’ new EP, Hope And A Hand Grenade, released on February 1. It was recorded by producer/mixer/engineer and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Gillespie, with Peter Horn performing viola for the track. James shared, “The viola part on the song is as I wrote it, but when I presented it to Jeremy and Peter their response was quite literally, ‘This makes no sense.’ Of course that’s the whole point. Love doesn’t make any sense either.”

The video was directed by Kate Douglas, and filmed by Kris Night (who also shot Shayfer James’ videos for “Weight of the World” and “Filthy Habit“). Hope And A Hand Grenade is available on all major digital retailers now, including SpotifyBandcamp, and Apple Music. Shayfer James will be celebrating his EP release show on Friday, March 8, at Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2 in NYC (9pm show, $10, 21+, full details here).

Photo by Joe Velez, Acid Test Photography

Shayfer James is a Rock Noir singer-songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist. With music that is equally at home on playlists that feature Nick Cave, Fiona Apple, Amy Winehouse and Leonard Cohen, Shayfer moves unflinchingly from soulful uptempo rock to serene ballads. Known for his poetic, gothic-tinged lyrics, swaggering grooves, whiskey humor, and captivating, theatrical live performances Shayfer is a true showman whether it be on large festival stages or at living room house concerts.

Shayfer’s darkly fascinating musical story reaches far back into his early childhood when he nearly lost two fingers while curiously reaching his right hand into the engine compartment of his father’s idling tractor. After emergency surgery and skin grafting, Shayfer’s mother sat with him and exercised his fingers at the piano every day for months. It is that early relationship with piano that, fifteen years later, resulted in the piano becoming an innate emotional and physical extension of Shayfer’s writing; a mechanism through which he creates, communicates, heals and destroys.

Shayfer began recording music in 2008 and since then, he has released two full length albums, three EPs and various singles, as well as special projects and demos for his fans. He has toured and performed at festivals and events in the U.S. (Art Basel, CMJ), the UK, Iceland (SagaFest) and Hong Kong. Shayfer’s music has been featured by Filter MagazineMTV Hive and as New & Noteworthy on iTunes. His original songs and musical scores have appeared in horror and suspense films which premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival 2017, SXSW 2018 and North Bend Film Festival 2018. In addition to writing, recording, performing and scoring for film, Shayfer is currently writing two musicals with collaborator Kate Douglas (Sleep No More, NYC) which have been developed in residence at Goodspeed MusicalsThe O’Neill, and Rhinebeck Writers.  

Shayfer recently released his fourth EP, Hope And A Hand Grenade, on February 1, 2019 via AWAL distribution (Kobalt Music).