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Vakili Band – Photo Credit: Jacob Blickenstaff
Fronted by powerhouse vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Lily Vakili, Vakili Band shares the video for their newest single, “Dreamy Dreamer,” exclusively with The Big Takeover. The video comes with the announcement of their second album, Walking Sideways, scheduled for release on February 25, 2022.
Born in Honduras before living in the US, Bangkok, and Puerto Rico, Vakili worked in theatre and went on to carve out a successful career as a biotech lawyer while continuing to nurture all manner of dreams, including making music.
Influenced by artists such as Patti Smith, Prince, Iggy Pop, and Rage Against the Machine, Vakili Band is unafraid to explore the sonic possibilities of ‘Peace, Love, and Justice,’ as evidenced on the song of the same name on the band’s first album, Oh Alright.
“Dreamy Dreamer” was originally written in response to powerful social justice issues such as the Dreamers, #MeToo, and Black Lives Matter. However, it evolved as Vakili watched her mother struggle with, and eventually pass away from, Alzheimer’s Disease.
The new song, recorded and produced by David Amlen at Sound on Sound Studios in Montclair, NJ, and mastered by Grammy-award winning sound engineer Greg Calbi of Sterling Sound, is both a battle cry and a hymn for every individual who dreams of a better world.
Big Takeover is pleased to host the premiere of the uplifting and relevant music video for the reflectively rousing “Dreamy Dreamer” today.
The song is heartfelt and hopeful, full of soulful vocals from Lily Vakili, lofty gospel choral harmonies, and emphatic organ note press.
The message is one of solidarity, as Lily emotes, “love is all that matters” and that “I stand with you in your quest to believe” in dreams – and in making them come true.
The music video mirrors this sentiment perfectly, focusing on Lily and her bandmates holding up ‘Wanted’ signs that display the hopes and dreams of the person holding up or handing out the paper to others.
This is interspersed with the band walking along the shoreline and Lily performing the song for the camera, a positive force breaking through the negativity and turmoil of our conflicted times.
When it came time to shoot the video, Vakili had a clear vision. “The idea behind the video is to illustrate that if you value Dreams -Justice, Truth Without Deceit, Love – you have to be willing to speak up about it,” she says. “Depending on the context, these values are sometimes seen as radical and subversive.”
A longtime friend of the band, and one-time bassist, Jon Boylan, designed “Wanted” posters – imagining a reality where concepts such as “Dreaming in Color” are seen as crimes. Directed by Vakili, the video was filmed around the carousel on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, an iconic location that holds special memories for the New Jersey-based band, having played at the legendary Asbury Park venues The Stone Pony and The Saint.
The band’s upcoming album, Walking Sideways, shows the growth of Vakili as a songwriter, vocalist, and bandleader, and the group as a whole – including lead guitarist and occasional songwriting collaborator Ben St. Jack, harmonica player Joel Dorow, and the rock-solid rhythm section featuring drummer Gordon Kuba and bassist Matt Jovanis.
As for the title of the album – Vakili puts it succinctly: “I’ve rarely taken the direct route in my life. I come at things via the scenic route, not always by choice, but I get there – ‘walking sideways’ as it were.”
As the band gears up for the new album, they are enjoying the return to the stage. “Performing music live is a pursuit of ecstasy, connection, desire, and love… it’s real, heady stuff,” Vakili says. They’ll next perform at NYC’s Mercury Lounge on December 20th, 2021.
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