Filipino alternative rock trio Nobody’s Home has released the official music video of their new single “Cigarette Daydreams”—a cover of Cage The Elephant’s chart-topping hit in 2014.
Directed by Ysa Aranda of Swimming Pictures, the clip features the promising trio on a random road trip, performing in front of a warehouse and running away from reality “to find peace of mind,” as the lyrics suggest.
As for the concept behind the music video, Aranda shares that it’s derived from her own personal experience, particularly the feeling of comfort that driving brings. “I had to go for a drive and dream scenarios that would resonate to the song itself. Aside from the lyrics of the song, driving has helped me cope specially in these trying times, hence the driving scenes present in the MV.”
Aranda’s take on “Cigarette Daydreams” is inspired by the visual narrative of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s End Of Summer, a short film that serves as a document of a calm scenery in “one of the most crucial and endangered areas of our planet.”
Paying homage and making it their own
The song was produced by Nobody’s Home and Ely Buendia, and its overall treatment maintains the melodic charm of the original, while incorporating ‘90s-sounding guitar-rock affair, candied pop hooks, and pulsating synths to the mix.
“Generally, we wanted to pay respects and keep the original vibe of the song,” Frontman and principal songwriter Eon Buendia explains. “We stuck to that nostalgic acoustic feeling for the verses while making it simpler in terms of instrumentals. But when it came to the choruses, that’s where we changed the vibe from the original’s lighter feeling to a darker and synth-y tone that is more akin to the sound of the band.”
Nobody’s Home strikes a balance between paying homage to the song and making it their own—a task that they supremely aced with conviction and confidence. “The main idea we had was that the verses would be simple and we wouldn’t add much to it in order to keep the spirit of the original, and then the choruses would be where we came in and do our thing,” Eon shares in a statement. “And then we put elements that we usually use when producing our personal tracks such as vocal layering, synthesizers, and lead guitar lines.”
The track’s producer, Ely Buendia, also commends the alt-rock outfit’s dedication in upping the ante of their version, while retaining the song’s feel-good catharsis in the process. “I just trusted the boys’ musical instincts, knowing that their own personal preferences would make sure that this will not be a note for note translation.”
In terms of production, Ely points out, “we at least wanted the production to be gritty yet polished, if at all possible, to honor the vibe of the original.”