Rayland Baxter might take a stroll with cult songwriter Sixto Rodriguez in the imaginary world of “Mr. Rodriguez,” but in the new video for that song as well as “Yellow Eyes,” he’s searching for a silver man, not Sugar Man. In the set of clips, meant to be watched as a single narrative and premiering exclusively at Rolling Stone Country, the Nashville-based Baxter is adrift in downtown Los Angeles, while we witness someone who spends his days in a job that is at once overt and isolating discover that we are all capable of breaking free of disguise, however we may hide.
“These two music videos, to be watched one after the other, are the vision of directors Morgan and Finley Wise,” Baxter tells Rolling Stone Country. “They got a crew of folk together in California and we spent two days running around Los Angeles. The first video has a less-defined periscope view into the wide world of whatever goes. Part two has a more focused angle on one citizen who realizes there is nothing else left to do but move on.”
Both tracks are from Baxter’s sophomore release, Imaginary Man, a collection of thoughtfully orchestrated folk songs that favor clever ingenuity over heavy introspection, which was produced by Eric Masse and Adam Landry. He’s able to meld the psychedelic world with the grounded realities of everyday life and turn it into soft, textural pop with “spaghetti noodle guitar lines in there. . . for the hippies,” inspired by the likes of JJ Cale and the Grateful Dead.
Baxter will be on tour through fall, both solo and as an opening act for the Lumineers. See his tour dates here.