Tower Defense – “In The City” (Official Video)

In full disclosure, Tower Defense released their last full-length album, In The City (from which this video is taken), on yk Records – an indie label that the author of this article also happens to operate. There’s bias afoot, be aware.


Tower Defense is comprised of members that have been playing in various bands for multiple decades in and around Nashville. Mike Shepherd and Jereme Frey have put in their time with Schtucket and Apollo Up! (to name just a few), Currey May was a member of Fair Verona and Sarah Shepherd still plays with Take the Power Back. Having put in so much time in the local scene, there’s something deeply, inherently Nashville about the fabric of the band. They don’t contain an ounce of “The Nashville Sound” – choosing instead to embrace a double bass setup, guitar, drums and a bombastic wall of sound – but their songs are often about the city itself, the bands connection to it and the woes they see with recent changes.

According to Mike Shepherd, the title track for In The City was inspired by “a dream about running uphill, westbound on Broadway, trying to escape the waters of the Cumberland River as they overflowed the banks.” It goes on to namecheck The Stahlman Building at 3rd and Union, which once housed WKDF back in the 70’s. Lyrically, the song may be literally about a dream but it’s easy to interpret as a subconscious concern for losing the things that make Nashville special; the things that make it recognizable even if the landscape changed. That may sound like a stretch but, if so, it’s a short one.

The official video for the track is a supercut of various films in and around New York City with the band playing on billboards. There’s glimpses of random celebrities throughout including Rick Moranis, Jane Curtain and a few Ramones. It’s a simple, fun and engaging video; which is really all you can ask for. If you wanted to play armchair psychologist with the meaning behind it all; you could theorize that the juxtaposition of the soft 80s film look against the sharp 2021 green screen performance is the band stating that they adore the past but they’re just as interested in being a part of the future. If that sounds like a stretch, it definitely is.

Tower Defense plays The 5 Spot on Saturday, December 4th at 6pm with The Robe and Sarah Kat Golden.

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