Virginia-based folk-rock band The Steel Wheels have spent almost twenty years writing, recording, and touring, all the while constantly honing their ever-evolving brand of Americana and their latest album, Sideways, is their most ambitious outing yet.
Trent Wagler, the band’s lead singer and primary songwriter, penned many of the songs in response to loss, grappling with the experience of watching the suffering of loved ones and the helplessness and uncertainty that comes with facing things we can’t control, and the album’s title track is a gentle meditation on resilience and survival.
“Many of the songs on Sideways, including the title track, were a reflection of my own emotional confusion and processing,” Wagler says. “If circumstances have you feeling stuck, shocked or alone, remember to breathe. If you’re breathing, you’re growing, and even when you’re growing sideways, on a windy path, it’s still growth."
‘Sideways’ now has an extraordinary stop-motion video to go along with it. Directed by Stefan Zeniuk, the suitably naïve animation works its magic to transform the music its set to, as it further explores the song’s dark undercurrents.
“Stefan came up with an idea for a stop motion video for this song,” Wagler told us. “I think the raw and exposed quality of the figures moving through space amplifies the lyrics, and the question ‘Is it even under our control? Some feelings grow sideways.’”
“When Trent asked me if I had any ideas about directing a stop-motion video for their song ‘Sideways,’ I was immediately struck with the imagery of a sun-drenched world,” remembers director Stefan Zeniuk. “Contemplating loves and relationships and beauty and the simplistic tenderness of connections. The Steel Wheels' music is filled with so much beautiful imagery that easily evoked the analogue joy of stop-motion for this video.”
The video for ‘Sideways’ is premiering exclusively below.
Sideways is released on 9th February via Big Ring Records