Milwaukee-by-way-of-the-world troubadour Brett Newski has done it all—penned tampon commercial jingles in Vietnam, angered Shaquille O’Neal as a young boy. It’s enough to set anyone on edge. Perhaps that’s why Newski appears so jittery in his new video for “Cigaretiquette,” a song from the singer-songwriter’s latest (and excellent) EP, Hi-Fi D.I.Y. Shot in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Durban, South Africa, the video is an eclectic and manic mix of visuals—Here’s Newski playing a show! Here’s Newski wearing a horse head! Here’s Newski holding a rat!—that thankfully finds a much-needed exhalation via the song’s wordless, ear-worm chorus. “‘Cigaretiquette’ is an ‘anti-anxiety’ song about losing the zen just as quick as you found it,” Newski says. “Despite the negative connotation that anxiety brings, it’s also a great catalyst for motivation and progress.”
Another great catalyst for motivation and progress is Violent Femmes co-founder Victor DeLorenzo, who produced “Cigaretiquette” and provided auxiliary percussion. Newski’s next scheduled Milwaukee show isn’t until July (at Bastille Days), but this video and song (which is part of a split 7-inch with Blessed Feathers) should be more than enough to fill that anxious hole in your soul.