Singer-songwriter Brandon Stansell is kicking off 2017 by dropping a new music video, and The Huffington Post got an exclusive first look.
The Los Angeles-based “California country” performer is haunted by an unrequited love in “Never Know,” which is the follow-up to his 2016 single, “Slow Down.” Directed by Trent Atkinson, the video shows Stansell sulking in a bathtub and tossing in bed, tormented by memories of a hunky love interest (played by Frank Sweeney). Things may or may not end up on an upbeat note, however, depending on your interpretation of the video’s ambiguous conclusion.
Stansell, who originally hails from Tennessee, teamed up with Nashville-based musicians JD Shuff and Erik Halbig for the mid-tempo ballad, which he wrote “from my vantage point of wanting to explore a new relationship.” That romance was short-lived, driving Stansell to write even more. “I didn’t get the guy,” he told The Huffington Post, “but I got a great song out of it.”
“Never Know” is the second track from Stansell’s three-song “Slow Down” EP, which was released in September. Next, he’ll collaborate with Atkinson once more for a video for the EP’s third (and final) song, “Spare Change,” which he described as a “direct response to the fear members of the LGBTQ community and the majority of the country are feeling” in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory in November. “So many of us were looking around, trying to figure out what we could do in the wake of the election results, and producing this video is going to be one of my very first steps,” he said.
Stansell plans to head back to the studio to record his first full-length album, slated for release in the fall. He’s also written material for another EP, “Hometown,” in which he’ll specifically address his struggles coming out as gay while growing up in Tennessee. Turning those “deeply personal” memories into music, he said, was a bigger challenge than he expected.
“I had a tumultuous coming out, and if sharing my story can save one person from having to go through what I went through, then that is something I am passionate about pursuing,” he told HuffPost. “Now, more than ever, I think younger members of the LGBTQ community ― especially in the South ― need to know there is light at the end of the tunnel.”