Photo: Lexie Alley
Split between households in Tennessee and Florida, alternative-rocker Briston Maroney spent most of his childhood and adolescence in dramatically different environments. Maroney prides himself on reviving the grunge of Nashville’s house party scene as he performed DIY shows in strangers’ living rooms. Maroney’s defining Indiana EP represents his continual progression since his early days of feeling lost and confused to now earning a slot on the Austin City Limits bill.
Indiana’s opening track, “Small Talk,” features pleasant rhythm guitars that lead into thrilling electric guitars and booming percussion. Although Maroney is an indisputable talent, his raspy vocals are just the cherry on top of this alternative banger. What’s most noteworthy about “Small Talk” is its overall message: be honest and no one gets hurt.
Maroney expanded on the song,
“The song is written about a run in with an old friend who I had a falling out with, and my frustration with the fact that they acted like nothing was wrong. They listed off their achievements, newfound health routines, and peace found in sobriety like it was a competition, and that growth was something that was easy, clean, and fun. It made me pretty mad. Like dumb mad. I went to my friend Lexi’s house and wrote it all down and out came this song.”
The accompanying music video begins with Maroney singing “Small Talk” in a tight room as he intensely gazes at the camera lens through a mirror. He then makes his way out of the cozy cottage and joins his bandmates for a jam session with his Fender guitar. As the momentum of “Small Talk” steadily builds up and everyone else is sporting gas masks, Maroney loses control of himself and eventually crawls back into the tiny cottage, shutting the door behind him.
On the “Small Talk” visual, Briston Maroney exclusively shared with us,
“The ‘Small Talk’ video was by far the most spontaneous thing I’ve done with director Joey Brodnax, and easily the least taxing on my sanity!!! It was so much fun to pay tribute to the early 90s/2000s music videos we grew up watching and loving that relied so heavily on shock value. We tried to combine the apparent anxiety that traces all of his work with a hint of self-awareness to represent getting a little older and realizing it’s hard to stay so angsty all of the time. The gas masked woman still haunts my dreams!!!!!”
Ones To Watch has your first look at the “Small Talk” music video below: