Electro pop singer-songwriter LEV released the music video for her latest single, “Last Mouth Running,” on Friday. The video features playful cat-and-mouse-style choreography between LEV and the video’s love interest, who appears to be delightfully and hopelessly under her spell. The two make their way on foot through parts of the city from late evening to dusk. An infectious Nile Rodgers-like guitar lick guides the song and visuals throughout.
As with most songs, there are multiple meanings behind the theme and lyrics of “Last Mouth Running.” Part of it has to do with relationships between men and women.
“I had fun shooting this video. I really had a blast,” LEV says. “I wanted the song to be about how females traditionally wait for the guy to make the first move. Even if she knows she wants something, there’s this game that’s played where she waits for the guy to come over and talk or subtly try to get his attention. I want to be the person to make the first move. I’m just gonna go get what I want, be independent and do it.”
LEV believes there can be hesitance at times when women won’t break out of their comfort zones and assume this role, and men aren’t always comfortable when they do.
“Sometimes I feel like guys don’t want to be vulnerable and play that role, but sometimes the girl knows what a guy needs,” she says. “So the song is kind of based on the idea that, hey, if you let your guard down, I’ll pretty much rock your world because I know what you need right now."
Relationships and gender roles aside, the underlying message of “Last Mouth Running” deals with being decisive and confident.
“It’s really about being independent, going for what you want and not playing games,” LEV says.
Keeping in line with the theme of taking charge and being independent, LEV was hands on with the creation of this video.
“The song and video represent me doing this on my own and doing what I want," LEV says. "At the end of the day, I’m the last mouth running on this project. I came up with the concept and wrote the treatment. It was really empowering. I called my buddy Chip Tompkins and got him on board to direct it, and his sister Hannah Tompkins produced it. We shot it in one evening; it took about six to seven hours."
For LEV, performing pop music and the full production that goes along with it present the most complete representation of her art. However, her process begins by writing everything with an acoustic guitar and building on it from there.
“When I write pop songs, I usually start early in the day," she says. "I keep a list of thoughts and topics that I’d like to write about. I do it in a very formulaic way, starting with the music and melody. I ask myself what’s the message I’m trying to get across so I can communicate it to the listener in an organized way, so it’s not all over the place."
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It’s not uncommon for musicians to have a wide variety of influences. What's unique is how they apply those influences to their craft.
“I listened to a lot of John Denver; I loved John Denver," LEV says. "He taught me how to tell a story and write from the heart. The Carpenters taught me the smoothness of voice and harmony. Listening to the Bee Gees, that’s where I also learned a lot about harmony and the funk aspect that comes with some of my music."
On July 11, LEV performs at Deep Ellum Art Co. for the launch of Smart Cookies Dallas, which profiles women in the local arts scene. LEV also has the rest of her recording schedule for 2018 planned out.
“I’m releasing a lot of singles for the rest of the year," she says. "They’re new to the public but not new to me. After I release them, I’ll wrap them up as one EP."