David Ramirez’s music video, “On Your Side,” is stark, lean, and true, just like his songs. This video is part of Serialbox Presents, which “is a live, one-take, multi-cam, multi-track performance video project designed with a simple goal: to capture, in a single take, the truest, most honest version of an artist’s songs.” This reminds a little bit of the AOL Sessions where artists played a little rawer, acoustic takes on their songs. They removed the distractions and all the filters to give us the raw artist. This does that same thing visually. I would say they met their goal here in spades. Their subject matter already presents himself in that honest, semi-raw place where lyrics and music come together to touch our marrow, to allow us to recognize ourselves in his songs. This one take video of black and white fading out the pattern and back again so well represents the soft-spoken but stark words of Mr. Ramirez is song.
“On Your Side” is about one man standing up and committing himself to being for someone else. Despite some possible challenges in the relationship, he’s making it utterly clear that he’s on the other’s side. “Can you hear my heart and believe it when I say/I am on your side/I am on your side/I will never question you for an alibi.” Like the protagonist in the song itself, David Ramirez pleases himself solely on stage, fully vulnerable and accountable. There are no bells and whistles and there are no backup singers. It simply his song on the line, just like in the song the person places himself on the line of being on your side. I love how the message of the song meshes so well with the portrayal in the video. A person laid it on the line for another.
With the other things I love is how we get to see some of that raw emotion play across Mr. Ramirez’s face. This comes out especially clearly when he asks “Why are you shaking, we’re only getting started/Why are you looking me in the eye?/Some men are monsters, some men are children/but some men just want to help you survive. So when you look at my face, do you see the enemy?/Someone dark, selfish, and unkind./Can you hear my heart and believe it when I say/I am on your side?” He puts it on the line. You need to decide. Do you believe me when I say I’m on your side? It may be that he has done things, said things that put that commitment into a challenge. It all comes down to trust. With regard to Mr. Ramirez’s music, we can always trust that will be true. If this music video is your first foray into David Ramirez’s music, I commend his albums Apologies and American Soil or his latest EP aptly named Raw for a great listening journey.