Brandy Zdan likes being the boss. When she has a vision, she wants to be the one calling the shots. She knows how she wants a song to sound and has been making music long enough to know how to properly execute things to ensure the final product is what she had envisioned.
Brandy Zdan also is not afraid to be vulnerable and knows no one can put out a good album by themselves. She comes into the writing and recording process with everything planned out but also lets things come naturally. This dichotomy is what’s at the heart of her sophomore solo album, Secretear, which was released earlier this year.
The singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist put this trust into producer Teddy Morgan for her first solo album and decided to work with him again on her second — a gesture that is foreign territory for the well-seasoned musician with nearly 10 records under her belt.
Zdan has been performing since she was 15 and spent nearly a decade making gothic-folk music as one half of the Juno Award-nominated Twilight Hotel in her native Canada. When she moved to the States, landing in Austin, she joined the all-girl Americana outfit, The Trishas, where she acted as lead guitarist and utility player (lap steel, accordion), before moving on to a solo career. Each album she made with both acts was produced by someone else, but none of those people were Teddy Morgan.
With My Morning Jacket’s Tom Blankenship and Carl Broemel contributing bass and guitar/pedal steel, Zdan was able to make an album with the people she loves most. And for that, she is grateful. “it’s hard to find people who get it and don’t hold you back,” she says. “They let you shine through it.”
Today Glide is premiering the new video for “Wild Fire”, one of the standout tracks on Secretear. As of late Zdan has been playing guitar on tour with Australian roots rocker Ruby Boots, but this song makes it clear she is an equally competent bandleader. The song begins with a load of fuzzy guitar courtesy of Zdan before the singer lets her vocals command the music, like the rock and roll love child of Karen O and Joan Jett. When she hits the chorus and draws out the lyrics “I’m a wild fire” it’s clear she isn’t messing around, and more importantly, is intent on giving us a dose of raw power. The video is a live performance and gives us a taste of the kind of unbridled energy Zdan and her band are capable of unleashing onstage. Filmed almost entirely in one shot, the video was done by Joshua Shoemaker, who is known for his work with Margo Price, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Alabama Shakes etc.
“I’ve been a fan of Joshua Shoemakers work for quite some time so I was excited when he reached out to me about shooting a live performance video. It was a no brainer letting him take the reigns as our esthetic, color palette was a perfect match. We met at a smoky dive bar in Nashville and talked about our love for Lisa Frank and his one shot -no cuts live videos he’s been doing with artists. The shoot was fast and furious, and all took about 2 hours. We set up and went for it. What we got was a sweaty, saturated pink, raw performance,” reflects Zdan. In talking about the meaning behind the song, she says, “’Wild Fire’ is a middle finger to the liars and fakes who try to put you down and keep you down. And if they keep you down even for just a second you know full well that it’s all just fuel to pick yourself up, regroup and come out of the gates even stronger.”