With echoes of Bob Dylan going electric at Newport in 1965, RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars Season 3 champ and UNHhhh host Trixie Mattel has updated her sound from the plaintive acoustic folk of celebrated releases Two Birds and One Stone. On Friday, she shifted into upbeat power pop with the release of the new song “Yellow Cloud,” the video for which premieres on Rolling Stone today.
Two Birds and One Stone “felt like an ending,” writes Trixie Mattel via email, but breaking out an electric guitar also felt like a logical next step for her musical career.
“My love for Sixties country music ushered me right into this new plugged-in radio sound,” she says. “Listening to a lot of Fountains of Wayne and Apples in Stereo. Collecting mod Barbie dolls and watching Brady Brunch reruns!”
True to her word, Trixie Mattel’s “Yellow Cloud” leaps forth with bright strums of electric guitar, vintage garage-rock organ flourishes and instantly hummable, wordless melodies that recall peak period New Pornographers. The song, which she began playing during her live appearances last year, imagines the creation of a perfect world with that perfect someone. “Across a table at a French place/I’d lose my way into the wine/With your glasses on your pretty face/We can go up, baby we can float up,” she sings.
“I was missing my boyfriend but making more money,” says Trixie Mattel. “So the song is a daydream about buying a house and living like ‘Somewhere That’s Green’ from Little Shop of Horrors — brand new plastic furniture and mowing a fake lawn.”
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The song comes bundled with a delightfully weird and colorful video that’s equal parts Pee-wee’s Playhouse, the Muppets and budget infomercial. Directed by Brad Hammer, the clip stars fellow Drag Race alums Tammie Brown and Thorgy Thor, along with comedienne Deven Green. Trixie Mattel cycles through an assortment of wigs, including a massive blonde helmet-shaped ‘do that has to be seen to be believed.
“Yellow Cloud” arrives during an exciting period for Trixie Mattel: her live-show documentary Moving Parts debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, and her new beauty brand Trixie Cosmetics debuts May 24th at RuPaul’s Drag Con.