Somewhere between the pillars of rock and soul, sit the eclectic five-piece outfit Oh He Dead. Fronted by Cynthia "CJ" Johnson and Andy Valenti the group effortlessly blends rock and funk, and have secured a place in the hearts of music lovers in Washington, D.C. Now the group wants to capture even more likes with the release of their debut EP Blood in the Water, which is out today. To celebrate, the group premiere the set's title track with a music video to show the world the result of their undeniable chemistry and talent in "Blood In The Water."
The Scott Kenney-directed video features stunning visuals of Cynthia and Andy, along with a montage of a basketball player getting his game on at Jones Point National Park in Alexandria, Virginia. According to the group, the concept was inspired by a night of watching Shark Week on TV, where you typically watch the Great White sharks hit the "surface with brutal force." You can feel the same energy as you watch the basketball player aim for the perfect shot, with CJ and Andy singing over the eerie instrumentals in the background. "The song explores the haunting tension of that chase, the primal joy of the kill, and the rhythm movement to an ancient tune. We wrote it and performed it acoustically for about two years," CJ shared with us about the track.
Once the athlete is transported to the same black box as the group, things get intense with pulsating percussion and an aggressive bass. "In the studio, we wanted to explore different tones, and we landed on this really creepy awesome synth sound, which gave it the haunting, ethereal feel we wanted. The song builds in intensity, busting into a hip-hop beat," said CJ. "Our guitarist Alex Vans laid down a guitar solo that blew us all away, and became the centerpiece of the song, giving it a really climactic finish to match the energy of the shark chase. The video is an abstract exploration of society's fanatical, often cultish obsession with sports."
Blood in the Water, the group's debut EP produced by Abe Seiferth (who has worked with fka Twigs and Norah Jones), features a range of influences, which ultimately creates the group's eclectic groove. The band celebrates their EP release in D.C. tonight with Reed Appleseed and Aurean and tickets are still available via DC9. If you're looking for something refreshingly different, check out our exclusive world premiere of "Blood in the Water" below, stalk the group on their website and stream the new album on SoundCloud now.