Who doesn’t love getting drunk, gorging in Chinese food, and playing a bit of Scrabble?
D.A. Stern gets it.
The L.A.-based musician’s latest music video for his single “Am I Ever On Your Mind,” which Atwood Magazine is proudly premiering today, does exactly these things, and maybe even a little bit more.
Watch: “Am I Ever On Your Mind” – D.A. Stern
Having released his debut album, Aloha Hola, in January of this year via Twosyllable Records, “Am I Ever On Your Mind” is undoubtedly Stern’s most successful song yet. he’s found relative success in the indie sphere with “Am I Ever On Your Mind.” The track appeared in the FXX show Man Seeking Woman earlier this year and finding features on both Spotify’s Undercurrent and Dreampop playlists, the track currently having over 45k+ streams on Spotify alone. Stern’s sound is reminiscent of OK Go or Cheerleader, , providing hazy sounds reflective of his L.A. lifestyle.
In the video, Stern finds himself alone at a closed Chinese restaurant in L.A., and decides to have his way with it. Upon guzzling Mai Tai after Mai Tai, indulging in some Lo Mein, and flirting with some fortune cookies, it is easy to tell that if you want to have a good time, you should seek out D.A. Stern. Because, come on, why wouldn’t you want to hang out with someone who sings karaoke to their own song, and spells out ‘BOO YAH!’ on a Scrabble board?
“Am I Ever On Your Mind,” as a song, seemingly draws from a variant of influences. It’s almost like a hint of Beach Boys-esque pop rock coupled with modern-day shoegaze, and, simply put, it’s just fun. “Am I Ever On Your Mind” elicits feelings of driving to the beach in a wood-paneled hatchback, while simultaneously getting you drunk on dreams the future.
The track and its accompanying visual illustrate an inner narrative to which we can all relate; the constant wondering if someone still thinks about you, despite a potential falling out. It is a wholly personal tale that merely adds to the charm of “Am I Ever On Your Mind” and its singer. D.A. Stern himself is captivating, not only as the protagonist of the music video, and generally as a person, but as a musician as well. His style, a mish-mosh of wet guitars and lulling vocals, takes listeners on a journey of which they don’t want to get out. He can very easily be your new favorite rockstar, or your new best friend. (Or, perhaps both?)
In anticipation of our premiere, Atwood Magazine chatted briefly with D.A. Stern via email to learn more about him, the new single, and its accompanying video. Read below, and watch the video for “Am I Ever On Your Mind,” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!
D.A. SternAtwood Magazine: What was your inspiration behind the song?
D.A. Stern: Well, the song is pretty much trying to sum up that feeling you get when you wonder if somebody still thinks about you. I’m not sure that’s a common thing, but I’ve definitely wondered it myself at different times. The song isn’t based on any one specific experience, just a general feeling. The title line just kind of came out as I was playing the chords, and then I built the rest of the lyrics around it.
What was your inspiration behind the video?
D.A. Stern: My brilliant friend Josh Fu, who directed the video, and I were watching Castaway and all I could think about was how Tom Hanks’s character would have been so much better off if his plane crashed at a Chinese restaurant and he had it all to himself. Instead of being on that stupid island talking to a volleyball with a pineapple shaped bloodstain on it, he could have been eating pineapple fried rice while watching volleyball on TV and getting Mai Tai stains on his shirt. Josh’s family happens to own a Chinese restaurant, and [they] were kind enough to let us film there. Can I plug Fu’s Palace on Pico [in Los Angeles]? Anyway, that’s how it happened. Everybody who knows me knows that I love Chinese food, so it’s not as random as it sounds. God, I love it.
What is your whole musical process like?
D.A. Stern: It’s sort of a two step process: find a wall and then bang my head against it until something comes out. Either that or my brother will say something funny to me and then the entire song just sort of appears like magic, fully formed. So it’s either really hard or insanely easy. No in-betweens. Yogi Berra once said that “baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.” I believe that applies to music as well.