Los Angeles based indie artist Onsen returns today with the new song “Charming Nights,“ taking on the insecurities that arise when embarking on a new love affair. The release marks the beginning of a string of new music to come from Drew Straus, aka Onsen, where he uses personal experiences to examine past relationships found in the gay dating scene of Los Angeles. With each track, he will dive into a new singular experience.
Onsen shares of “Charming Nights,” “The verses are a come on of sorts, something good is happening, moves are being made, but in the chorus self-doubt appears to say, ‘is this about to end?’ ‘Is this your last chance to get this right or it’s gone?’ It’s equal parts sensuality and desperation.”
For the new tune, he worked with Max Hershenow of MS MR and Ceci Gomez of Ceci G, Crater, and Charli XCX‘s band, and the project is co-produced by Brook D’Leau (GRAMMY-nominated producer for Miguel).
Satya Bhabha (New Girl, Scott Pilgrim, Sense8) directs the music video, which features dancers Christopher Argodale and Shane Raiford, and was choreographed by Andrew Pearson. The split-screen style video captures all the subtle sparks of lust and unfortunate miscommunications that are bound to happen in a relationship when it’s up for debate if the love will continue.
Onsen further explains, “It’s is a visualization of a warehouse of memories. In the video I’m drifting between scenes of two lovers coming together and then falling apart. While the memories lie years apart, the motion between them is continuous, shots drift away instead of cutting, reminiscent of a single shot video. Finally, the video ends with the three characters changing bodies as if they are all an ‘exquisite corpse’ drawing composed of their past loves.”
“Charming Nights” follows the recent collaborative EP from Elio, where Straus is one half of the duo in partnership with Harmless, aka Nacho Cano. The EP, Elio 1, was released earlier this summer and spawned the two singles “Babyfool” and “Empty Persuasions,” with the latter being featured on Spotify’s Fresh Finds. Onsen first came onto the scene with his 2016 debut album Earthquake Weather.
Originally born in Boston but raised in Paris, and both of his parents shrinks, Onsen draws inspiration from a variety of different influences. He’s done everything from doing public policy for Google and working production in television, to exploring Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil in a 1982 VW Westfalia as a journalist writing on environmental issues and indigenous communities’ rights. As an artist, he does all his own stunts on the new project, playing guitar, keys, bass, singing and producing. Onsen resides in Echo Park and is fluent in English, French, Spanish and some Portuguese.