With his solo recording project Lonas, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Louis Johnson makes a marked departure from his work as a member of Americana duo The Saint Johns. Johnson’s Lonas debut, Youth EP as he explains in press notes “is an attempt to immortalize millennials’ nostalgia for the past and unprecedented anxiety about the future.”
Interestingly, the EP’s first single, the slow-burning “High School Kids” is centered around a lush and brooding production featuring shimmering guitars, atmospheric electronics and propulsive drumming — and while sonically evoking the 90s pop that influenced it, the song is written from the perspective of someone looking back at their high school years with a warm, rose-colored, romanticized nostalgia. After all, the world seemed so much simpler — friendships and romantic relationships were supposed to last forever; humanity didn’t seem to be spinning closer to annihilation; and you didn’t have to face the compromises, complexities and uncertainties of the adult world. But there’s this tacit acknowledgement that the song’s narrator can’t get that time back.
Directed by John Gillian, the video stars Andy Prince as a therapist and Johnson as himself, the recently released video ironically finds both men being incredibly nostalgic about their pasts — the carefree days of hanging out, goofing off and of seemingly simpler consequences. The video splits between the current day and grainy video footage, shot back in high school, capturing the youthful sense of hope and excitement of the time.