Must admit, I already had a soft spot for Jeffery Straker…in part, because I’ve had the chance to work with him on a couple of occasions, but mainly because of his awesome songwriting that bounces between piano pop and cabaret. His latest album, ‘Vagabond,’ was produced by Kitchener-Waterloo songwriter and producer Danny Michel…another soft-spotty artist o’ mine.
The Botanic Gardens video softens me up even more…probably because of its unapologetic and tongue-in-cheek queerness! Very fun, very cute, and a great song to boot!
There aren’t very many gay-themed videos – whether they be subtle or over the top – in general. I mean, Carly Rae went ‘gay’ in her Song Of The Summer smash ‘Call Me Maybe‘ (at least, the object of her affections did) but that was the traditional usage of homos in music videos – comic relief.
In Botanic Gardens, as in Bronski Beat’s ‘Smalltown Boy‘ or Macklemore’s ‘Same Love,’ it’s just a natural part of the story of the video. Though comparing the three isn’t really fair: Smalltown Boy was an early success at telling the story of rejected gay youth, and Same Love is a modern-day protest song…where Botanic Garden could never be mistaken for ‘political.’
It’s a pretty, well-written song and a pretty, well-filmed video where the main character just happens to be gay…as are several of the passers-by.
Though Jeffery…why you gotta scoot away from the poor bear! It’s clear he’s into you!!!
…I’m gonna pay for that one…