We’ve all had times when we wished we just didn’t exist; when things get rough and we find ourselves in a dark place, trapped in our own minds, the idea of simply disappearing can sound pleasurable. But if we can take those feelings – of wanting to disappear and be lost forever – and channel them into a positive outlet, we have the potential for great creativity, and that’s exactly what Brian Joyce (formerly of Major League) has done with his new project, Val Astaire and the Communion. Originally formed simply as Communion, things shifted as Joyce created “Val Astaire” as an alter ego in late 2017.
Joyce says about the project, “I chose to take a different route with this project late last year after a dark episode I went through stemmed from an ongoing battle with depression. For years I’ve struggled with portraying my music comfortably as myself while tackling these demons. And I’ve lived a very long time being uncomfortable with who I am. It’s not something that has been easy for me to come to grips with. Whenever I was feeling lost or subsided in my own depression, it followed me in everything I did. In the studio, on stage, on tour and even simple interactions. Stepping outside myself and having someone to become in order to perform and portray my music has been the most uplifting, eye-opening and mentally stimulating experience. I created Val as an answer to my problems. When Brian Joyce feels like curling up in a ball and dying – Val steps in and creates. It gives me a chance to leave behind who I am for a while and become someone entirely new, designed how I’d like to see them. I had to do this for me.”
Today, we’re thrilled to be premiering the music video for “The No Funs,” the first single from Val Astaire and the Communion’s debut album …Don’t Call Me Valentine. “The No Funs” sounds like what you might get if you crossed moody pop music with 80s classics; Val describes the single as “an attempt to preserve a mental state unhindered by politics, religion or social status.”
Shot, directed, and edited by Joyce and photographer / filmmaker Michael Shronk, the video for “The No Funs” features Val dressed head to toe in powder blue, as he’s in a bright red room with various props painted to match. Throughout the clip, he remains stone-faced as he pours a cup of tea, picks up the phone, and plays a keyboard, guitar, and drum. Val never quite makes eye contact with the viewer, instead looking intently at something else in the distance; this, combined with the crisp aesthetic of the video, leads to a feeling that would be almost eerie, if the song wasn’t so catchy.
…Don’t Call Me Valentine will be released this spring. In the meantime, keep up with Val Astaire and the Communion on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and their website. What are your thoughts on Val Astaire and the Communion’s video for “The No Funs”? Let us know in the comments below, or share your thoughts with Substream on Twitter.