“It’s put up or shut up time as far as I’m concerned.”
That’s Lorde Fredd33, speaking about his new song and video, “Summer Breeze.” But he’s talking about much more than that, of course. He’s talking about uncertain times, about the fleeting nature of time itself, and about the responsibilities artists have to make some sort of sense of the events of the day. Coming off of 2018’s stunning NORF: The Legend Of Hotboy Ronald, you’d be hard-pressed to find another artist better equipped to do so.
“Everything has really taken a hit, but at the same time this is a great time as a creator to really put some concepts down and to really go above and beyond, to go fearlessly into creating,” Lorde Fredd33 says. (Milwaukee Record spoke to him over the phone during our “14-Hour Socially Distant Telethon.”) “That’s all we have at this point.”
Enter “Summer Breeze,” the first single from the upcoming FolkLorde EP. The song and record are the products of a four-day-long trip to Brooklyn and time spent collaborating with a new group of musicians, including vocalist Travis Mendes. “I broke away from my traditional ways of doing things,” Lorde Fredd33 says. “It was a great journey. A trip indeed. We made some of the dopest music I’ve ever made in my life.”
The video, meanwhile, was shot in Milwaukee, and features a bold (and potentially explosive) bar heist, some moody cinematography, and a bracing twist ending. Directed by PhillyFlyBoy, the video also turns traditional gender roles on their heads, tying into the song’s theme of “encouraging men to create deeper bonds within their relationships.” It doesn’t get much deeper (and more dangerous) than the relationship depicted here.
FolkLorde is due in June, and Lorde Fredd33 plans to follow it with a full-length record. Until then, he’s using these unprecedented times to create unprecedented music. “Creatives have to take this time to really be introspective and be honest and fearless with their work and with what they say,” Lorde Fredd33 says. “We don’t have all the time in the world. The next thing that you put out could be your last thing. You want to make a lasting impression on this earth.”