Colorado-Based Alt-Pop Band, Pandas & People, unveil their latest music video for “Drift,” reminding us that there’s nothing like setting out on an adventure with the one you love.

With several songs under their belt, Pandas & People have done well on the charts both locally and nationally. The band, made up of members Joshua Scheer, John De Sousa, Beau Osland, and Jasper Drisko, have built their own fan base, while also garnering fans by sharing the stage with well-known acts like Twenty One Pilots, American Authors, The Doobie Brothers, and many more.

In this latest single, “Drift,” Pandas & People beautifully express the desire to leave everything behind and escape with someone we love, despite the current reality of finding ourselves unable to do so.

“The inspiration for “Drift” was the idea of an escape. I tend to write songs that put me in a place that I want to go, rather than where I am, and at the time that’s what I needed. For me as a songwriter, I relive that thought every time I hear the song, and that can either work for or against me. With the pandemic, I decided it was time to put it out there for anyone else who might be able to relate.” – Joshua Scheer, Lead Vocalist of Pandas & People

Much of the song is lead with an evocative acoustic guitar as Scheer’s striking vocals shine through. The song has a deep sense of longing to be somewhere new, to follow random roads until a destination reveals itself.

The first verse opens with lead vocalist, Joshua Scheer, singing, “If I could fly, I’d be rolling through the sky/ with a laid-back kind of style/ with the wind.” This line presents a powerful mental image of having what may be the most completely free feeling one could ever experience.

To compliment that “free feeling,” we cut over to the music video where Scheer is shown in nature’s breathtaking landscapes, surrounded by the peaks of rocky vistas above wildly flowing streams.

“I drove up to [my brother’s] house in northern Colorado from Denver, and when I got there he just grabbed his camera and said, “let’s go shoot a music video.” We drove up highway 34 to Estes Park, CO, and stopped at a few spots that felt right along the way, ultimately making our way to a balcony in an event center in town, owned by a friend of my brother… I’m a big fan of the balcony shot as the sun is setting over Estes Park.” – Joshua Scheer, Lead Vocalist of Pandas & People

Soon we’re captured by the lyrics,“And I don’t know where I’m going/ but I thought that you should know that/ wherever I go I’ll be with you at the end.” It’s here that Scheer makes a point to let his significant other know that, no matter where they go, he will always be there.

The pre-chorus opens with “There’s no goin’ back/ leave it all in the past/ don’t look down/ don’t look down.” This illustrates a dream many of us have had in the recent year of simply wanting to explore the world around us without having to worry about a global pandemic taking over our lives. The phrase “don’t look down” perfectly parallels this desire to be carefree, to not even have to acknowledge the things that we are afraid of.

The strong visuals throughout the “Drift” music video add depth and gravity to this narrative, depicting healthcare workers and first responders wearing masks and staring pointedly into the camera.

“My brother, Devin Scheer, and I have been making spontaneous videos together since we were kids, and that was more of the case with this one. There wasn’t any specific direction for the video, but it was more off-the-cuff with what felt like it would fit the song well, such as the overhead shot during the lyric “don’t look down”. Once we had our footage, we both felt it needed to be tied back to the ongoing pandemic, so we added short clips of people who have been affected by Covid to bring it back full circle.” – Joshua Scheer, Lead Vocalist of Pandas & People

In the chorus of the song, Scheer sings “It’s not like we’ve / got big plans to see the world/ take my hand/ we’ll find a place that we can go.” In an overwhelming time when we feel trapped, stressed, and exhausted, being able to just let the responsibilities of life go and escape with your loved one would be a welcome reprieve from it all.

“As soon as I came up with the chorus melody, I sent a voice memo over to a good friend and producer, Adam Haag. He built an incredible track around it, including the rhythm sections and guitar picking pattern in the verse. At that point, I brought the song idea to the band during a rehearsal so they could add their own influence. Once we had a full demo, we took it to Chris Beeble at The Blasting Room studios in Fort Collins, CO, and he did a killer job making it sound complete. I have to give him credit for helping compose the bridge section, which ended up being my favorite part of the tune.” – Joshua Scheer, Lead Vocalist of Pandas & People

As we cut back over to the music video, we see intentional imagery that results in a clear message of how heavily the events of the pandemic-centered year have weighed on us all; a scene of two little girls clutch the paws of the same stuffed animal, as they look out the window, presumably hoping for someone to return home.

The chorus repeats the phrase “We’ll find our way, slowly drifting.” Drifting, following the wind, not having a care in the world, these are such stark contrasts to the situations we find ourselves in these days.

“My writing process is a little strange. I have a long list of lyric ideas, usually, just one line, collected from the last decade. With this tune, I had “we’re slowly drifting” written down in my notes from years ago as one of those ideas. For the melody, I wanted to write something a little higher in my vocal range and was playing around with my guitar at home in October of 2017 when the chorus melody came to me, and I really fell in love with it. I felt the “slowly drifting” lyric I had tucked away was best suited for the melody, so it took about a year to build around that idea.” – Joshua Scheer, Lead Vocalist of Pandas & People

Soon after, the music video shows a woman that has just taken off her mask, her face points towards the sky, as she takes a deep breath in. As a viewer, this reminds us of a time when we were free and giving us hope that we will someday feel that freedom once again.

Visuals of hope, joy, and beauty carry throughout the video that bring us back to a place of peace. A fitting accompaniment to the lyrics “wherever you go/ I’ll be with you all the time,” as a young mother holds her little one’s hand as the toddler stumbles through trying to walk.

“I grew up climbing cell phone towers with my father, and any time I’d get nervous, he’d always tell me “don’t look down, just keep on climbing”. If there’s one line in the song that I hope will stick, it’d be that one.” – Joshua Scheer, Lead Vocalist of Pandas & People

The lyrics, “Nothing can tie us down yeah/ we’ll never hit the ground and/ you’ll get the feeling I will always be around,” ensure us that only good things are ahead. The song seeks to be an escape, but also a reminder to whoever the song is devoted to, that they won’t have to be alone through it all. This is also a welcomed contrast to the isolation that many of us have felt this past year of quarantines and stay-at-home orders. 

The imagery towards the end of the music video pans to an empty classroom, chairs stacked on desks that haven’t been used in months. We see imagery of a hospital ceiling rolling by, almost as if being viewed while lying face up on a gurney. Towards the end of the video, there is a woman in funeral attire standing alone; a haunting scene given today’s circumstances.

For those looking, searching for an answer in times of despair, trying to keep a positive mindset in a reality that is all too haunting, this video is a must-watch. Check out the music video premiere of “Drift,” by Pandas & People below.

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