The always photogenic George Lewis Jr. has stepped behind the camera to direct his newest music video, a black-and-white ode to friendship set to a stripped-down version of “The One,” off this year’s Confess. Lewis left out his trademark synths for this tender live rendition — originally performed with just a guitar on KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” show — and the accompanying clip captures a similar sort of intimacy.
This five-minute montage trades the biker fights of previous singles for onstage performance footage and shots of Lewis hanging out in cafés with friends, riding (and standing on) his treasured motorcycle, and asking young women to “look right into the light” and think about their lives. The ’80s-pop apologist wrote in a press release that the video is a direct response to claims that his songs “often get lumped into being just about a girl.” He explained, “My old friends in New York and my new friends in LA, I thought, they are ‘the ones’ as well… I throw my love to them. I hope you do the same with the people you find close.”
This non-album approach to “The One” is now available on iTunes. Read Lewis’ statement below.
While out on our Ton Up Tour a fan approached me with a heavy observation and question about the song ‘The One.’ He said, ‘George I am confused by the lyrics in your songs on Confess, particularly on the song ‘The One,’ you seem torn between honoring some one who cares about you and someone you can’t have, the whole record seems like this, don’t you think it’s confusing. I mean, you are telling someone there is something wrong with them but you’ll go with them anyway?’ To which i replied ‘Yes its very f****** confusing isn’t it.’ As I thought about it weeks after and while making this video I realized again what Confess meant for me. It was a chance to be totally honest, and say that nothing is perfect, but faith in someone who gives themselves to you is very real and very beautiful; That all this bizarre love we have has to go someplace, and it can be as simple as pushing it against a person who is constant.
I thought about how a lot of my songs often get lumped into being just about a girl, (which may be so in this song) but what about the other constants in my life? My old friends in New York and my new friends in LA, I thought, they are “the ones” as well, the ones who are always ready to jump back in where we left off when I go on these long tours and disappear from the face of the earth. I turn up on there doorsteps, we ride motorcycles, act a fool, drink too much, dance all night , watch movies on my couch.. All without question, like not a beat missed. I throw my love to them. I hope you do the same with the people you find close.