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Video: Ex Reyes – “Keeping U in Line”

In the new video for Brooklyn-based psychedelic-soul band Ex Reyes’ Do Something EP track “Keeping U in Line,” director Asli Baykal paints a charming portrait of former swing dance champion Sonny Allen. The clip finds Allen dressed to the nines, reminiscent for a simpler times of big bands, the Charleston, and ballroom competitions, while encapsulating the cosmic modernity and lingering nostalgia of Ex Reyes’ hypnotic song.

The band’s Mikey Freedom Hart said:

I wanted this video to tell a clear story of someone whose story doesn’t often get told, and, in doing that, leave behind an emotion that might not be so clear. Sonny is a warm, funny, voluble guy who’s happy to tell you his story: a life lived in showbiz, on the dancefloors of the storied Harlem swing clubs, coiffed hair and glittery suits. I have a past as a New Orleans jazz musician, and I’ve played many a swing dance, so there was this surprising synchronicity: that Sonny’s story is about him still embodying the glitz and glam of his heyday, while at the same time carrying with it an artifact of my own past.

“I’m still here,” Allen says as the video begins. “I can dance, at least I’m still walkin’. I enjoy myself. I didn’t make a whole lot of money, but I had a whole lot of fun.” Mingling new video with vintage footage of Allen’s dance competitions, Baykal and Ex Reyes create a lingering impression of this timeless, tireless New York City personality. Watch “Keeping U in Line” below.