Los Angeles musician Roy English, the mind behind Jagwar Twin, wants nothing more than for the world to find its light.
Preferably, this would not happen in front of a lens, but rather, in one another. "Long Time Coming," from his long-awaited debut album Subject to Flooding, encourages a necessary vision of shared humanity. It's a theme English carries throughout the record's vibrant, inspirational 13 tracks. "Rich man, poor man, all of us bleed the same," English sings poignantly in the track, which roars to life with triumphant drums by Blink-182's Travis Barker, retro guitar riffs, and a chanted chorus.
For the video, premiering today on PAPER, English teamed with director Emily Elizabeth Thomas to showcase renewal in the desert valley of southern California's Joshua Tree. He says this process was born from noticing how humans have historically held each other back. But nature can be the solution to this age-old problem: throughout the clip are dramatic shots of English amid floral blooms, in a wide field of dusky sky. Filters of light fill the frame, sometimes through cracks of darkness, and other times through bursts of iridescent color. It all works to illustrate English's message of hope and possibility.
"Every one of us, myself very much included, struggles through adversity to try and find our place in the world without losing our light and humanity," English says. "When we put out hope, love, and light, even when things are tough and obstacles stand in our way, the world has a way of finding balance."
English is currently touring nationally with lovelytheband and will be singing songs from Subject to Flooding — an experience he hopes will be even more cathartic for him and for audiences (Get tickets here). When recording the album, English says he worked hard to divorce himself of ego and open space for collaboration (S1, Linus, the aforementioned Barker, and Adam Hawkins all contributed to the album) and free-flowing creativity.
"Our world has been in such a crazy place, and I hope through this music that people will take a deeper look inside themselves and others and find energy and spirit in our shared humanity," he says. "Seeing rooms full of young people out on tour letting go of themselves and creating a community connecting and singing along to these songs has been surreal. There's an energy created when that happens and we're no longer at a concert watching a show, or playing up on stage, we all become connected for a short time. But that time can be transformational if we harness it with love. I truly believe we can change the world, but that starts with changing our own collective mind."
Stream Jagwar Twin's Subject to Flooding, below, and follow him on Instagram (@jagwartwin).