Over the past few years, Chattanooga musician David Haynes has been proudly reinterpreting indie rock’s classic early ’90s history through his band, Jim Shorts. There have been some people who’ve come on and helped Haynes for some of the band’s past recordings, but the sound has always been tailored to his specific musical influences and vision. Guitars whiz by in a blur, followed by sharp bursts of percussion and lyrics that follow in the unbridled creativity of artists like Stephen Malkmus or David Berman. And although Haynes flirted with disbanding Jim Shorts earlier this year, it now seems that he just can’t get rid of that indie rock fascination and has announced that his latest record, “Eternal,” will come out on All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1) this year.
For the video to his latest single, “Empty Vessels,” Haynes paired with director and fellow musician Evan Farris to create an appropriately quixotic look and feel for the clip. Shifting between an intimate performance space filled with hanging blankets and a dense wooded area (complete with Haynes’ shifty doppelgänger and a skull rocking some shades), the video creates a surreal approximation of the music, and does so without feeling purposefully pretentious or possessing an unnatural affectation. The sound still contains heavy echoes of those early indie rock pioneers, but Haynes develops his own understanding of what made these melodies and rhythms so incredibly memorable to begin with. “Empty Vessels” is the perfect vehicle for Haynes’ malleable guitar lines, rumbling drumbeat and meticulously fuzzed-out approach to this kind of indie rock re-evaluation.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.