Finding the midpoint between political activism and performance art, the Mavericks add some modern context to the video for their Sixties-inspired song, “Brand New Day.”
“I know this sounds idealistic and perhaps unrealistic, but I’m not one of those guys who thinks we’re at the end of the world,” frontman Raul Malo told Rolling Stone Country earlier this year. “But we do have to be vigilant, and if we have to protest and stand up for what we believe in, we will. I’m confident in the American people and in democracy in general. Maybe this is a wakeup call that we so need.”
The clip intercuts performance clips of the Mavericks – including a glammed-up Malo, sporting his version of Elvis’ Vegas jumpsuit – with slow-motion footage of a dance troupe. Painted across the dancers’ limbs are buzz words that have dominated political arguments in recent years, including xenophobia, bigotry, homophobia, racism and greed. Banding together, the dancers eventually smear those words into unintelligible streaks of color, eventually replacing them with sunnier terms like “hope” “acceptance.”
Malo, who skewered President Trump is a Rolling Stone Country op-ed last February, has never attempted to hide his band’s place on the political spectrum. Even so, “Brand New Day” doesn’t point fingers or create any sort of “us versus them” division. Instead, the video preaches the power of community. The message is clear: whether you’re band of genre-jumping roots musicians or a group of graffitied dancers, you can still pull together, challenge the norm and make a difference.