Interview: Brooklyn’s Rén with the Mane on Her Alluring “Short Skirts” Video & Passionate New EP

Radiant and cinematic, with a touch of Western warmth, Rén with the Mane’s “Short Skirts” is a delightfully indulgent alt-pop seduction.
Stream: ‘Short Skirts’ EP – Rén with the Mane




Radiant and cinematic, with a touch of Western warmth, Rén with the Mane’s new music video is a delightfully indulgent alt-pop seduction. A rush of raw anticipation and desire dazzles the senses in “Short Skirts,” a tale of connection and possibility, excitement and intimate allure. After such a long time spent indoors and away from others, it feels good to (safely) let our guards down and let others in.

Short Skirts - Rén with the Mane
Short Skirts – Rén with the Mane
Can you remember the day we met
You spilled your drink and I got all wet
I said it’s fine it feels kind of nice
Let me get you another on ice
Do you want to dance?
I said no thanks
Did you really think this was my kind of place?
I think I know somewhere much better
So we ran to yours in the stormy weather

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Short Skirts,” the title track off Rén with the Mane’s recently released EP of the same name (out November 12, 2021 via Sleep Well Records). An immersive and hypnotic alternative record filled with romantic highs and lows, moments of deep reflection and self-discovery, Short Skirts invites its audience to kick back and let go: To join the artist and in a space of intimate escape and reverie, vulnerability and passion.

Rén with the Mane
Rén with the Mane



The moniker for Brooklyn-based Renée Orshan, Rén with the Mane has been happily dwelling in pop music’s deep end for the past seven-plus years. Her new EP is her first offering in two years, and with a diversity of sonic textures, musical themes, and song structures – not to mention an exhilarating wealth of emotions – it’s a strong, welcome return for the artist.

“This EP was recorded sporadically over a two year span… quarter of the music we did for the EP was pre-pandemic,” Orshan explains. “I endured different relationships, set backs, joy, depression, etc. Each tune has a different story and energy. I wasn’t necessarily envisioning a record, but by the time we wanted to release Short Skirts, we had a bunch of other tunes ready to go.  We felt putting out a body of work would be a nice way to come back after a two year hiatus.”

From the visceral, hard-hitting urgency and immediacy of opener “What You Do to Me” to the sweet, ethereal closing ballad “You and Me” (a duet featuring producer King Daniel as an accompanying vocalist), Short Skirts soars and stirs – packing a world of feeling into its relatively short, but very memorable span of 18 minutes. The title track is a particularly special standout, with an intoxicating groove and colorful, effected guitars enchanting the ears as Orshan’s voice entrances the mind. Described as a “cheeky tune about being territorial over your person of interest,” “Short Skirts” unapologetically embraces our innermost desires – and its Jordan Edwards and Orshan-directed music video brings that romance to life with vivacious energy.

Tell me tell me what you need
Darling I will whisper everything you wanna hear
We could be anything
Baby won’t you go tell all the short skirts that you’re mine
Since then you’re the only lips I’ve been kissing
Dopamine dripping into my system
Fragrance and feening
Wanting and needing
Silently screaming out
Short Skirts still - Rén with the Mane
Short Skirts still – Rén with the Mane



As the artist herself explains, the video started out as a photoshoot and short teaser clips. “The day before the shoot I asked my friend Ugo Ray if we could shoot at the rustic chic Brooklyn based bar he works at called Yours Sincerely. He graciously said of course and we shot 90 percent of it in a span of 2 hours. The vintage wallpaper, rustic mirrors, and whimsical chemistry beakers they serve the drinks in gave the video that ideal new meets old Westworld feel. Once we were in the space Jordan and I knew this location and vibe were too perfect not to do more. I called my sister Eden and snagged Jordan’s beautiful lighting assistant Hope Miyo to be my harlets, Ugo the bartender, my friend Alec Gaston became my leading cowboy, and BAM! We had a cast for a music video.”

“I love the Westworld feel of it all,” she adds. “As you now know from the above story, I am a very last minute person. I had nothing to wear. My mother grew up a rancher’s daughter from out West. Her closet is a magical place filled with pristine vintage threads. I knew I wanted a look circa 1800s. I rummaged through my mom’s closet and found this beautiful off white, tufted, fitted skirt from Romania. I had never seen it before. It was as if it fell from the heavens for me. I came out wearing it and asked my mom where it came from. She replied- that’s my wedding dress! Yep, my mom wore a two piece for her wedding dress and I was wearing the skirt which I had never seen before in person. She graciously lent it to me for the music video and to add icing on the cake she handed off to me her late father’s vintage Stetson hat for my cowboy counterpart to wear. It was still in its original box with the receipt. Purchased in Houston Texas, 1977.”

For something so spontaneous, “Short Skirts” feels deliberate and well-developed: It captures the spirit of the song while telling a story of its own. It’s also the perfect entryway to the rest of Rén with the Mane’s new EP, where drama and intimacy collide in dynamic fashion.

Watch the “Short Skirts” music video exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and get to know Rén with the Mane in our interview below as she opens up about her new EP,  making this new video, dating, and more.

As she says, “It’s time to play and have fun again.”

Short Skirts is out now.

Tell me tell me what you need
Darling I will whisper everything you wanna hear
We could be anything
Baby won’t you go tell all the short skirts that you’re mine

— —

:: stream/purchase Short Skirts here ::
Stream: “Short Skirts” – Rén with the Mane

 



A CONVERSATION WITH RÉN WITH THE MANE

Short Skirts - Rén with the Mane

Atwood Magazine: Renée, this EP is ostensibly your first release since 2019. How have you been over the past two years, pandemic and all?

Rén with the Mane: A quarter of the music we did for the EP was pre-pandemic. My producer Brandon was stuck in Canada so when he came back and it felt safe enough to go back to the drawing board i was overjoyed. The massive gap of time in between is a reason why the songs all differ.

Can you share a little about the story behind Short Skirts, and why have you chosen to release it now?

Rén with the Mane: “Short Skirts” is a cheeky tune about being territorial over your person of interest. Everyone these days seems to be “open”. I try to be with the times, but sometimes I’m a bit old fashioned when it comes to my person.

You've described this as a “true human emotion record.” Can you talk about why that's the case for this set?

Rén with the Mane: This EP was recorded sporadically over a 2 year span, therefore I endured different relationships, set backs, joy, depression, etc. Each tune has a different story/energy.

Could you describe this EP in three words?

Rén with the Mane: “Dating at 30”



How do you feel Short Skirts pushes your artistry forward?

Rén with the Mane: With every song, painting, relationship, there’s always room to reflect and grow. Reflecting on the song “You and Me” the male vocalist King Daniel made me realize I need to collaborate with other artists more. Bringing other energies and voices to a song is like adding spices to a meal.

What was your vision going into this record? Did that change over the course of recording this?

Rén with the Mane: I wasn’t necessarily envisioning a record, but by the time we wanted to release Short Skirts we had a bunch of other tunes ready to go.  We felt putting out a body of work would be a nice way to come back after a two year hiatus.

The EP's title track is an especially exhilarating and emotional pop number. How did this song come about and what does it represent to you?

Rén with the Mane: I went through a really hard breakup. There was a lot of deceit. To get mentally cope I started exercising and as I would run sometimes I’d write lyrics. This was a particularly angsty run… [laughs]

Rén with the Mane
Rén with the Mane



How do you feel the video captures the essence of the song, and likewise do you also feel like it tells a story of its own?

Rén with the Mane: This Westworld handsome cowboy walks into a bar to be surrounded by beautiful harlots only to be taken by the coy girl in the corner after he accidentally spills his drink on her. It mirrors dating in NYC. There are so many beautiful people here that in my opinion, the only way to meet the right person is by chance and circumstance (…oh I like that, could be the start of a new song…)

What's your relationship with music videos like?

Rén with the Mane: In addition to music, I also do hmu/styling for videos and photoshoots. I’m on the other side of the camera all the time. I love the artistry that goes into creating and directing.

Ah, so you're no stranger to this! Has the experience making this new one changed that at all for you?

Rén with the Mane: This wasn’t even supposed to be a music video. My friend Alec and I were going to take some mini video snippets for promo. Once we were in the space and everything was falling into place we decided to turn it into a music video. I called my wonderful sister, snagged  our beautiful lighting assistant to play the harlots. My friend Ugo (who let me use the bar) became the bar tender, and boom-we had a cast! Thanks to my videographer Jordan Edwards we managed to pull it off in a matter of three hours – which in music video world, is pretty unheard of!

Why title the entire EP “Short Skirts”?

Rén with the Mane: After a long pandemic it’s time to play and have fun again. “Short Skirts” is that out at a bar, anything can happen tune. I’m ready to live that life again.

As a lyrically forward artist, do you have any favorite lyrics in these songs?

Rén with the Mane: There are a couple of lines in “You and Me” that I love:

The sound of your secrets are so many leagues apart swimming in the belly of the sea just you and me. When you want so badly to know everything that runs through someone’s mind. All their truths and fears.
Pick me up over the turnstile take the subway aimlessly. The sense of youth, lust, adventure from this lyric and depicting such a vivid energy and location.



What do you hope listeners take away from Short Skirts? What have you taken away from creating it and now putting it out?

Rén with the Mane: I was dating a lot during this time and went through every emotion, set back, and success that went along with each relationship. I’d say most people can relate. Now that it’s out, my takeaway is to focus more on self-love, friends, family, adventure.

Where do you see your artistry going from here?

Rén with the Mane: I’ve found the most joy in life when sharing success with others. I have so many talented friends so collaborating is at the top of my list.

What's next for Rén with the Mane?

Rén with the Mane: I love to dance and feel joy, so I’m going there musically!

I always like to end by paying it forward: Who are you listening to these days that you would recommend to our readers?

Rén with the Mane: A lot of my friends music has been really inspiring check out Rodes Rollins, Miranda Joan, pronoun, tei shi, and evolfo! In collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, I created a playlist that includes a bunch of music that got me through pandemic:

— —

:: stream/purchase Short Skirts here ::
Stream: “Short Skirts” – Rén with the Mane



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Short Skirts - Rén with the Mane

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