Poolside: “Feel Alright Nashville” Premiere

Professional skater Braydon Szafranski zooms down a midwest highway in one effortless take

When Poolside released Heat last year, the duo’s knack for crafting super-catchy, sunny disco-pop was (once again) confirmed. That “daytime disco” vibe is perhaps most reflected in the gloriously infectious and breezy “Feel Alright,” which has just been reworked for a new version and video—both of which we are exclusively premiering today. “Feel Alright Nashville” includes just the right amount of country twanging—thanks to band member Jeffrey Paradise’s love of pedal steel guitar sounds—without becoming gimmicky, and the video features Braydon Szafranski skating down a midwest highway in one seemingly effortless take. We spoke with Paradise about the new versions of the song and video and what happens when things aren’t always meticulously planned.

When conjuring up the desired mood for the Nashville version of the track, Paradise didn’t need to explore too far. “I’ve always been drawn to the lap and pedal steel guitar sounds,” he tells us. “To me they capture this lazy, front porch music vibe that I absolutely love. I picture images of loved ones playing and singing music together as a family or community. I’ve romanticized that way of life in a pre-industrialized society where creating music was not something you paid to see the best in the world do. It was something everyone commonly did together as a form of entertainment and community… skills, rehearsals or 10,000 hours of practice were all irrelevant. Music was something everyone did together.”

It was a “communal essence of those sounds” that Paradise felt (and feels) most strongly about, and after several conversations with Scott Hay about it, and “after talking and trading music back and forth, he sent me a ton of pedal steel, lap steel, acoustic, slide, rhythm, lead, etc guitar parts and it was then time to put the musical jigsaw puzzle together!” This laid-back, slightly country version of the summery jam then led to a new video—also taken from the original iteration.

“Growing up in Southern California in the late ’90s, skateboarding was pretty central to my identity for some time. I was fond of the rebellious punk DIY skateboarding style so Braydon and the Baker team have always been some of my favorites. I wanted to work with someone that represented what I loved about the culture; the kind of skater I wanted to be and not the more streetwear, X Games, pro athlete-type that seems to be prominent today,” he explains about getting Szafranski on board—literally. “We embarked on a four-day journey through monument country; sharing hotels and shooting 18-hour days, having never met in person before.”

The resulting video is spirited, yet delightfully simple—effortless. Paradise says, “Greg and Brent were able to get this in one long shot, no edits, so that was remarkable in and of itself. It really captures the dichotomy of the rawness and serenity of Braydon’s style along with a landscape backdrop that equally contains that danger, wildness and art. We asked him if he was comfortable doing it, and he just hopped out and went for it in one take. It looks so chill, but he was hitting speeds up to 30mph. When we put it against the song, it just timed out perfectly with no conscious plan.”

Image courtesy of Poolside