James Raftery
James Raftery

PREMIERE | James Raftery Unveils Music Video for ‘Hidden Mind’

Electro-pop artist James Raftery premieres the music video for “Hidden Mind” on CelebMix.

The song is from Raftery’s first solo album, Everything, a collection of nine electro-pop, synth-pop, and dance-flavored tracks.

Prior to Everything, Raftery recorded as Rat Wakes Red, working with producer/arranger Jeral Benjamin. Rat Wakes Red released four albums and shared the stage with artists such as Bob Mould and Hayden. When Raftery decided to go solo, he left New York City, moving to upstate New York, where isolated from civilization he started laying down innovative tracks that would eventually become Everything.

Whereas Rat Wakes Red relied heavily on acoustical instruments, Everything went in an entirely new direction, utilizing computers, drum machines, and synthesizers, and included radiant choruses.

Before getting into music, Raftery was an actor, appearing in a feature film, Night Owl, with John Leguizamo, and another film, Barriers. Once he began writing songs, Raftery left acting.

“Hidden Mind” opens on pulsing synths and a contagious groove flowing into a new-wave-flavored electro-pop melody. A muscular bass line and tight thumping percussion drive the rhythm with shifting thumps of energy. The swaying harmonics exude a sensuous flow, nuanced and hypnotic.

Raftery’s soft, rich tenor imbues the lyrics with dark looming menace, as if something malevolent is being peeled away.

“One more layer yet to go / Until the hidden mind / Shows you all you need to know / And what you left behind / Hand it over to the flow / Unhook, unrewind.”

The video, directed by Fabien Leon, features quick cuts and phantasmagoric visuals reflecting the play of dark against light, as well as a flaming, hellish motif, as Raftery and a group of dancers move in unison. There’s an unrelenting secretive ambiance about the images, as if turbulent emotions are being suppressed. The video is a trip, and well structured.

“Hidden Mind” is cool, wickedly erotic, and stylish. James Raftery definitely has next up.

Video release party: Saturday, Jan. 26, 9:00. In Brooklyn at Superfine, 126 Front Street in DUMBO.

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Written by Randy

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.