Studio Life: Bandits on the Run

Bandits on the Run combine a range of genres with catchy hooks and excellent musicianship.  The result is a modern, fresh sound and, at the heart of it, is the trio’s fabulous harmonic vocals.  Known for their creative live performances and theatrical style, the three have even taken on bandit alter-egos. Sydney Torin Shepherd, Adrian Blake Enscoe and Regina Strayhorn are talented individuals; together, the blend is hugely enjoyable.  They have just released a new short film, featuring both the A-side and B-side versions of their single ‘Love in the Underground’.   AUK spoke to the Bandits to explore the song and video in a little more detail.

‘Love in the Underground’ is bursting with hope and positivity and the video complements it perfectly;  it feels that there’s more to it than a typical video and it has a real cinematic feel.  Can you tell us the ‘story’ behind the song and video?

‘Love in the Underground’ is inspired by the true story of how two of the three Bandits met. Adrian Enscoe was busking on an NYC subway platform when Sydney Shepherd came up to drop a dollar in his guitar case. The two ended up talking, and falling in love (…in the Underground)! It was a chance encounter that shaped all three of our Bandit lives. A couple months later, when Regina moved to New York into the same apartment as Sydney, we quickly realized there was a special magic in all three of us playing together. This song is our origin story. It’s inspired by real-life serendipitous events, and is a testament to how if you can open your heart to something unexpected, fate just may usher in a whole world of good.

We started performing this song while busking and during live shows, and quickly it became a fan favourite. So we knew that when we recorded it, we needed to do it right. Luckily, we Bandits are great at being lucky, and we found ourselves recording the track at the iconic Electric Lady Studios with our producer, William Garrett (aka Lucky Jesus). In Studio D there was a fantastic piano that we found out was used on the recording of ‘Shallow’ for A Star is Born with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. William offhandedly said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we recorded a piano version?” We agreed, and started messing around on the piano, and that’s how the B-Side of ‘Love in the Underground’ was born.

We enjoyed the process of creating a second version of the same song, and how Side B highlighted different aspects of the story. After all, there’s so much duality in love. It finds you, yet you have to work for it, it’s something you hope for, but when it happens, you feel extremely vulnerable, and opening yourself up isn’t easy. The songs feel cinematic, so we decided to continue exploring these A and B side themes on film, and collaborated with some of our most talented friends to bring the ‘Love in the Underground’ short film to life.

The film follows the characters Jason and Michael (who are also a couple in real life), as they find themselves both listening to Bandits on the Run busking on a subway platform. They connect and realize they’re headed the same direction, both on the train and off. Side A was shot in our beloved NYC Metro, and Side B was filmed in a speakeasy, perfectly captured by 16mm film. It incorporates dance, magic, and true blue NYC commuters.
The ‘Love in the Underground’ short film is extremely special to us. It’s both personal and universal, and speaks to the particular joy, bewilderment, excitement, and world-expanding feeling that comes from finding your people. We hope it inspires folks to open their hearts, dance a bit more, and bask in the magic that can be found in everyday life. Especially during these uncertain times, it’s nice to be reminded that hope can be hiding just one train car over.

Lyrics:

Love in the Underground

We’re not strangers now
Finally found
Love in the underground

I, I spent my ticket to ride
Goin’ nowhere on a train past midnight
Bright city lights, flickering by

And I, I’m draggin’ my heavy heart
Onto the platform and there you are
With a beat up old guitar
And a song about to start

“Hold my heart oh hold my heart
Let my weight hang in your hands
There’s something bright inside your eyes
I just might understand”

I don’t know how
What a strange and sudden sound
But we’re not strangers now
Finally found
Love in the underground

You, you pulled me out of the blue
Far from the thunder of the trains passin’ through
And though the streetlights hide the moon
I see starlight shinin’ through

“Hold my heart oh hold my heart
Let my weight hang in your hands
Something bright inside those eyes
I just might understand”

I don’t know how
What a strange and sudden sound
But we’re not strangers now
Finally found
Love in the underground

In this city of a million doors
Open one, there’s a million more
So what is it that you’re waiting for, waiting for?

I don’t know how
What a strange and sudden sound
But we’re not strangers now
Finally found
Love in the underground

What a strange and sudden sound
But we’re not strangers now
Finally found
Love in the underground

Author: Andrew Frolish

From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Lukas Nelson, Midland, Jarrod Dickenson.

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