As the fog lifts over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, we’re greeted by the first couple of beats that will guide us into the arms of The Side Deal’s new lyric video for “I Can See Clearly Now.”
A cover of Johnny Nash’s song of the same name, this video doesn’t take its time with getting us immersed in the themes of the music through its enticing visuals. Images of the beach slide over to an urban backdrop, amusement parks, children innocently playing and everyday people engaging in the simple joys of life. There aren’t a lot of props, nor does it ever feel like we’re watching a lyric video in the traditional sense of the branding. Verses aren’t rolling across the screen as we look on at the cover of an album or some other mundane still-shot; we’re on a rollercoaster ride of pure adrenaline and fun in “I Can See Clearly Now,” with The Side Deal deciding where we’ll end up around every turn.
The bassline is the most muscular element in this mix, but it surprisingly doesn’t impose any sort of low-end effect on the lead vocals or the percussion as it comes swaying in and out of focus. I really like how the drums seem to swell between the ridges of the bass parts, creating this sense of intimacy between the audience and the singing that just wouldn’t exist in another scenario. There’s so much weight in this song’s best elements, but I’m hesitant to describe it as being a heavy pop single in general, mostly because of how sleek its grooves feel when we’re barreling into the chorus’ hook.
This must be a favorite song of everyone connected with The Side Deal, because if it weren’t, I don’t think they would be able to have put as much kick into it as they did without adding a lot of synthetic components into the master mix. Listening to this track makes me think of an easy summer breeze in the midst of a hot afternoon – it’s cool and refreshing, never asking anything in exchange for its cathartic vibe.
“I Can See Clearly Now” fades away with as much panache as it first rises from the silence some three and a half minutes earlier, and even though it’s on the shorter side as far as contemporary pop songs go, it’s an easy single to play over and over when you appreciate its groove-laden stylishness. The Side Deal aren’t trying to alter the model of pop/rock as we’ve all come to know it in their new release, but I don’t think there’s any question whether or not they’re looking to make a positive impact on their listeners this June with the message they’re sending here.
They’re only three tracks into their discography, but taking into account how long it takes a lot of today’s biggest independent names to put something together in or out of the studio, they’re already making strides towards mainstream exposure via multiple outlets.