Baltimore noise-rock duo, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, released the gleeful new video for “Riddles,” the title track of their buzzy third album produced by electro-pop composer Dan Deacon.
The Jay Buim-directed video opens like a Baltimore film noir. Beneath the glow of a streetlamp, singer Ed Schrader and bassist Devlin Rice trudge to local venue the Crown, looking beleaguered in their suit and ties. But as the jittery piano converges with Rice’s bass, the scene morphs into a ragtag parallel universe where Schrader’s as big as Frank Sinatra – though he sounds more like A-Ha’s Morten Harket – and oozes British glam.
The band’s real-life collaborators and friends amplify the euphoria with their own dress-up fantasies. Deacon, Lexie Mountain, Rozie Jordan, Kevin Blackstone, Kevin Sherry, Jeff McGrath (formerly of Thank You), rapper DDm preen in flashy, thrift store threads over the song’s New Wave rumble.
“‘Riddles’ was an important turning point for us” – Dan Deacon, producer
“The concept originally was supposed to be Ed and I working at a venue and letting our friends in to sing karaoke,” Devlin Rice tells Rolling Stone. “Jay refined that idea with wonderful elements drawing inspiration from Talking Heads’ ‘Wild Life’ and B-52’s ‘Legal Tender.'”
“I love that this video feels one part Pee Wee Herman, one part Sinead O’Connor and one part Talking Heads,” Schrader tells Rolling Stone. “I feel like that’s been us in a nutshell these past two years – a wild, technicolor roller coaster ride of very vivid emotions. The subject matter is bittersweet, but the music propels you through a dark forest to a bursting waterfall of teenage reminiscence.”
Riddles is also the first record Deacon produced for another band and worked on it the same time as he composed the soundtrack for acclaimed documentary Rat Film, he told Rolling Stone last year. With Deacon, ESMB fleshed out their elemental drum-and-bass sound with different instruments and embraced a more accessible, synth-pop direction.
“‘Riddles’ was an important turning point for us in the recording process,” Deacon tells Rolling Stone. “When we started the project, the band had been separated by distance and it took a while to fall into a groove. This song played a huge part in that. It gave Devlin a chance to write in a way that, I think, was brand new to him. And it also gave Ed a platform to showcase his voice and his lyrics in a way he’s always wanted.”
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat are on an expansive tour in the United States and Europe in support of Riddles. They released the video for the unbridled punk rock song, “Dunce,” in January. The band also recently performed as the musical guest on Adult Swim.
Riddles Track List
4. “Dizzy Devil”
5. “Wave To The Water”
7. “Kid Radium”
8. “Humbucker Blues”
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat Tour Dates
March 12 – Houston, TX @ Walter’s Downtown
March 13 – Dallas, TX @ Transit Bicycle Company
March 14 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
March 15 – 18 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
March 19 – Hot Springs, AK @ VOV Fest
March 20 – Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
March 23 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
March 24 – Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Fest
March 26 – Reno, NV @ Holland Project
March 28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon
March 29 – San Francisco, CA @ Make Out Room
March 31 – Portland, OR @ The Know
April 4 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Total Drag Records
April 5 – Minneapolis, MN @ Kitty Cat Klub
April 6 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
April 7 – Milwaukee, WI @ Quarters Rock N Roll Palace
April 8 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
April 10 – Toronto, ON @ Baby G
April 11 – Winooski, VT @ Monkey House
April 12 – Providence, RI @ AS220
April 15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right