Denver-based pop-punk band One Flew West has released a new single titled “Semi Kinda Right” and an accompanying music video. It is the first new release from the band since its January 2018 EP, Trial and Error.
Though the band has leaned more toward a more tempered acoustic sound dating back to its debut EP, Selective Memory, “Semi Kinda Right” is a big power-pop ballad with infectious energy — a choice that stemmed in part from even its sad songs sounding happy.
“We put our first EP out, and it was almost more acoustic-folk kind of stuff with a lot of pop,” says drummer Jonah Bartels. “The EP that we put out at the beginning of the year, that one goes a little bit more toward a punk-alternative direction but still has the folk-pop stuff.
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“It just kind of felt good to do at the time," adds Bartels. "A lot of the stuff that we’ve done in the past hasn’t been angry or anything, but it’s definitely been darker subject matter that we make sound happier than it is. With “Semi Kinda Right,” we made it, in some ways, so that the song actually is a happy and positive song to positive and happy music.”
The music video shows the bandmembers playing instruments — a first for the act, originally from Longmont. Though previous videos always shrouded their faces or identities, the bandmates were intentional about not repeating themselves in their latest release.
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“In previous music videos, we’ve always been wearing costumes or dresses, and that’s not really what we look like,” says Bartels. “Every video that we’ve put out in the past didn’t have footage of us playing our instruments, really; everything we’ve done previously has so much going on. It almost puts the song in the back seat a little bit.
“What we wanted to do with this video was say, ‘Hey, here’s what we actually look like, and here’s us actually playing our instruments to the song,’ instead of some other weird thing happening," he adds. "It’s a way to put the song where it should be, which is the forefront.”
The video is fairly simple: The bandmates play their instruments in a room filled with balloons and colors. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t come without challenges. Keeping the many balloons in place was a tedious process that included fans, Saran Wrap, and hours spent blowing up and tying off balloons.
“Blowing up those balloons took so freaking long," Bartels says. "We had to buy this weird balloon pump that blows them up in like three seconds, but we were having to do that for hours. The blowing up wasn’t so bad, but tying them off was the thing.”