Video premiere: Eli Raybon, ‘Unsymmetrical’

Eli Raybon
Eli Raybon

Eli Raybon is only 19 years old but he has already 1) escaped his stifling, small-town upbringing, 2) double-majored in computer science and mathematics at a New York university, 3) chucked those studies to move to Los Angeles, and 4) reinvented himself musically. No wonder the dude dresses like a neon version of the Karate Kid. It was only last March that Raybon released his debut full-length, “The Machine & My Dilemma,” but upon his arrival in L.A. last fall, the muse struck and he wrote songs for his forthcoming EP, “Green.” Included was the fizzy, bouncy “Unsymmetrical,” in which he cops to feeling “D-I-S-O-R-I-E-N-T-E-D.”

Director Markus Thorington’s video for the song is one big metaphor for what a newbie to L.A. might feel like upon immersing himself in the music scene: a talent show. “‘Green’ references his experience being new to the city and the music industry,” Thorington says. “The lyrics of ‘Unsymmetrical’ deal with the tug-of-war between self-doubt and self-assurance, and we felt dropping him into a local talent show would play well with those themes. Eli has a real unassuming Southern gentlemen quality about him but also has a very singular vision for his music and style. … In the video, he comes brandishing a flashy ’80s-inspired jacket, and dives into a brazen rock song that gets a snooty response at first. This dismissive attitude almost does him in, but his strong and unique self-image, represented by a karate kid bandana fashioned from green duct tape, is his saving grace.”

So, as the star of the show indicates in the video, peace out. “It’s difficult to be brave enough to chase after what you really want,” says Raybon, the nephew of Marty Raybon, frontman of the country band Shenandoah. “Moving to L.A. marked my triumph over the fear and hesitation of pursuing my dreams.”

||| Watch: The video for “Unsymmetrical”

||| Also: Stream the song