Video premiere: Stoll Vaughan, ‘Own the World’

Stoll Vaughan
Stoll Vaughan

In June, Kentucky-bred, L.A.-based singer-songwriter Stoll Vaughan released his fourth album (and first in five years) of warmhearted Americana, “The Conversation.” It’s based loosely on the notion that that’s what life is, after all, a conversation, or a continuum of them. One in particular was key in triggering the album’s making.

Vaughan had moved to L.A. a decade ago and become entrenched in the business side of music, writing songs for TV and film placement (this album’s “Meet You in the Middle” appeared in “The Office” final episode), launching an artist development company and building a studio. In some ways, though, he was in stasis. “When it was time for me to get back to the process of writing songs for myself, I didn’t really know what to say, and thought maybe I should reconsider everything: I’d been in music, but it wasn’t about the music, if you know what I mean,” he explains. “It was so painful that I started going to a therapist — and brought my guitar!”

Good move. Eventually, he molded 13 tracks, half produced by Mike Wanchic (John Mellencamp’s guitarist and co-producer) and featuring Mellencamp bandmates Andy York on guitar, drummer Dane Clark and keyboardist Troye Kinnett, and the other half produced by My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel and featuring MMJ’s bassist Tom Blankenship.

The album’s closer is “Own the World,” which features Broemel himself. Vaughan performed the song for his new bride Elizabeth at their wedding a year ago, and among those to witness the moment was Jacob Weber, an L.A.-based animation director, writer and principal of Wrong Herman Pictures. Weber was so smitten by Vaughan’s performance, he volunteered to create an animated video. Months later, there is this artful conveyance of a time-honored sentiment: “If I’ve got you babe / I own the world.”

||| Watch: The video for “Own the World”

||| Also: Stream the whole album via Spotify