Video premiere: Alicia Blue, ‘Blackbird’

Alicia Blue

Alicia Blue is blessed with a gift for words that was shaped by her first passion, poetry, and a sky-blue voice to sing them.

The folk singer’s debut album “Bravebird,” highlighted by the singles “Queen of Echo Park” and “Blind Spot,” was a formidable work that suffered from bad timing, as it was released last year just as the pandemic locked everything down. So she has not yet been able to take those songs on tour.

But Blue returns today with the buoyant single “Blackbird” and a video that’s every bit the ray of sunshine the song is.

Directed by Zoe Sher, the “Blackbird” video follows Blue on an early-morning walk through her neighborhood in Highland Park, where she encounters a few friends as she picks up the pace.

“I met Zoe Sher, the director, through our friend Lauren Ruth Ward (the subject of the song ‘Queen of Echo Park’ who is one of the passers-by in the video),” Blue says. “A bunch of us were sharing new music we had recorded through the pandemic, and Zoe dug the tune. She mentioned the possibility of making a video for it, and I was elated. We were both set on the idea of this one long walking shot in hopes we could pull it off on a busy Eastside street, and we mostly did. The idea was here is this person walking through life, venting, but in a friendly way, making a few connections that keep her going. Friendly angst.”

With director Sher having recruited drone operator Eddie Core Jr. just days before the shoot, much of the video was filmed on York Boulevard — note the times Blue glances over her shoulder to check traffic. “We guerilla-styled it and just showed up at 5:45 and blocked out the movement,” Blue says. “By the time 8 a.m. rolled around, I was dodging cars. Some people cheered us on, and that was fun. Like, who the fuck is happy that L.A. kids are blocking traffic to do their art? But they WERE. And that was validating.”

Of the song itself, Blue says: “Sometimes when you’re pressed so thin, crushed so flat that there’s no ‘You’ left, you can’t speak of the trauma. The unfathomable pain, too big, too vast to allocate energy towards, because your No. 1 focus is, of course, to survive. To give an ounce of energy to this pain would surely annihilate you. An obstacle course race to the finish line; one misstep and you’re out.”

||| Watch: The video for “Blackbird”

||| Also: Stream “Bravebird” in it entirety

||| Previously: “Queen of Echo Park”