Watch the Video for “Downtown,” Lexie Roth’s Moving Tribute to a Former Classmate

Lexie Roth by Zachary W. Graves-Miller
Lexie Roth by Zachary W. Graves-Miller


While most of us struggle to make our way in one career, Lexie Roth is shining in three. She’s trained as a chef, acted in blockbuster films including Joy and Ghostbusters, and now she’s releasing her sophomore album, Move Me a follow up to her self-titled debut in 2012. Of all three of her callings, though, it’s music that runs through her veins; Lexie is the daughter of Arlen Roth, the famed guitarist who’s played with Bob Dylan, James Taylor and Simon and Garfunkel to name just a few.

With her Move Me EP, releasing today, March 31st, she’s defining her own sound—and evolving from the blues-roots sound of her debut– with soaring synth, pulsing drum beats and catchy pop melodies. Roth wrote and co-produced the five song effort, which features performances by some talented friends, artists Lilah Larson, Ezra Miller and Josh Aubin of the band Sons of an Illustrious Father; Nick Shopa, of Brooklyn-based Papertwin; and Mara Carlyle, London-based singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist.

Today, Elmore is premiering the music video for “Downtown,” a track from the record. Roth told Elmore, “Downtown” is a tribute to my friend Sam Michel who was heartlessly murdered in Los Angeles in 2012. This music video is an artistic tribute, supporting rising up in the name of justice when unthinkable injustices happen to innocent people. Sam, a CAL-ARTS student, was unabashedly himself, a true artist who enjoyed and played with the surreal. This video is a collaboration and effort to translate the unthinkable with student Academy Award winning director David Henry Gerson and esteemed dancer choreographer Anthony Nikolchev.

Indeed, there’s a surreal quality to the way the song pairs with the video, as the rhythmic tic of percussion and ethereal float of a lone whistle hint at the looming, senseless violence. Nonetheless, it emerges as a beautiful, haunting elegy, rooted in Roth’s smoky vocals. As the camera roams the halls and corridors of the school, the students bond in tribute, transforming their pain and loss into a moving, collaborative tribute.

Director Gerson says of the video’s concept, “Lexie’s beautiful and powerful resistance song, the story of her friend, a former Cal Arts student, Sam Michel’s murder, coupled with the outcry of the times we live in gave the urgency that this was a video we needed to build today – to find a means of depicting early 2017’s outcry, in the sense of Picasso’s “Guernica,” as a music video was the lofty challenge we set out for ourselves. We were fortunate to have skillfully executed choreography by Anthony Nikolchev, the amazingly talented dancer Dion Pratt, and Anthony’s movement students at Cal Arts to be the life force of our interpretation.”

Follow Roth on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and pick up a copy of Move Me on her Bandcamp. Watch the video for “Downtown,” and check out her spring tour dates below.

Spring Tour
3/26: Los Angeles, CA @ El Cid
4/1: Flagstaff, AZ @ Hops on Birch
4/4: Little Rock, AR @ The Johnny House
4/6: Nashville, TN @ The Commodore Grille
4/10: Marlborough, NY @ The Falcon
4/12: Brooklyn, NY @ TBD
4/13: Providence, RI @ Dusk
4/14: Cambridge, MA @ Lily Pad

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