Video Premiere: Rebecca Haviland Finds Her Voice in “Bright City Lights”

Rebecca Haviland asserts her voice as an expressive force on the passion-fueled “Bright City Lights,” a gritty exploration of identity and culture.

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I’d like to speak my mind and have it mean a thing or two

Though large swathes of society might want you to think otherwise, we all have a voice. Each and every one of us has the self-evident right to equality – to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. And while we don’t need a 242-year-old document written by white, landowning males in order to assert that claim, it certainly goes without saying that these are universal rights that apply everywhere and to everyone. Rebecca Haviland asserts her individual voice as an expressive force on the passion-fueled “Bright City Lights,” a gritty exploration of identity and culture.

shouldn’t say a word
shouldn’t let it bother me
I’m stronger than even I believe
I’d like to have a say
I’d like to be a part of change
of progress, I really need to see
Watch: “Bright City Lights” – Rebecca Haviland

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Bright City Lights,” off Rebecca Haviland and Whiskey Heart’s forthcoming album, due out spring 2018. An Americana-leaning singer/songwriter and performer currently on tour with Martin Sexton, Rebecca Haviland is a minority amongst independent artists: She already has a Grammy Award under her belt, in recognition of her work on the children’s album “Home” by Tim Kubart and The Space Cadets. Her band Rebecca Haviland and Whiskey Heart includes members Chris Anderson (Martin Sexton), Todd Caldwell (C S & N) & Kenny Shaw (Dispatch) – certainly an impressive batch of artists, to say the very least. The group’s latest video finds Haviland embracing her identity and her values in a fiery reprimand of all who would silence her.

Bright City Lights - Rebecca Haviland

Bright City Lights – Rebecca Haviland

bright city lights
don’t mean we ain’t sentimental

for the way things used to be
I’d like to speak my mind
and have it mean a thing or two
not nothing, like people want me to be

It’s a sincere, self-empowered response to all those who dismiss individuals like Haviland, who comes from New York City (or any metropolitan, urban area) and believes in things like freedom of speech, the right to peaceful protest, etc. “Bright city lights don’t mean we ain’t sentimental for the way things used to be,” she sings in the chorus. We can all appreciate the vision set forth by the framers of the Constitution – but there’s a big difference between appreciating ideas and belief, and seeing them through.

Rebecca Haviland © 2018

Rebecca Haviland © 2018

Our world is not an equal world. We do not grant everyone the same liberties; we do not grant them the same rights. But just because someone doesn’t want to go “back to the old ways” – to a time where sexism and bigotry, racial discrimination and open prejudice were just normal, accepted parts of life – doesn’t make them unpatriotic; in fact, it makes them a patriot, because they believe in the vision of the United States of America – a country that, while imperfect, has for two and a half centuries, been a breeding ground for civil rights. Change may come slowly; it may take 242 more years for us to reach that level playing field, but the inherent values of the nation won’t change.

there’s gotta be a way
gotta just jump right off this train of thought
that I’m where I’m supposed to be
I really need some proof
that I can be strong and still bear fruit
a woman, in any way I perceive

“When I came up with the idea for the ‘Bright City Lights’ video, I wanted to try to capture the energy of New York City, the hustle, the constant changing environment, but also reflect the idea of the lyric in the song – that I shouldn’t be quiet,” Haviland tells Atwood Magazine. “That we all as people need to be strong and independent and speak our minds, finding our own way to make positive change in the world.” Shot largely in a dark New York City subway station, Haviland’s video certainly captures both of these feelings and much more.

“Bright City Lights” comes at a time where protest is multimodal – a digital and physical phenomenon – and where your voice counts more than ever before. Stream Rebecca Haviland’s new video, exclusively on Atwood Magazine.

Watch: “Bright City Lights” – Rebecca Haviland

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Bright City Lights - Rebecca Haviland

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📸 © 2018

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com