by flaunt

A video premiere and look inside musician Drew Straus' home

A more appropriate name for the City of Angels is the City of Ghosts. People come out of nowhere, surprise you, maybe even kiss you, and then, they wane into nothingness. Never responding to iMessages with a line of grey to balance your growing bubbles of blue. With so many ghosts it’s easy to think that you’re the common denominator. The spirit chaser and never the ghostbuster.

“Peggy Lee” is Onsen’s newest single off his album Earthquake Weather from the record label Cosmic Dreamer. The final chorus lingers after a single listen, “I fear I’m waiting for it, I’ll never learn to trust.” In the video Onsen populates an ethereal world of stunning paper sculptures and glass globes, ruminating in his own head, sweating the small things, caught in his own interior.

The solo act of Onsen commenced in 2013 after Drew Straus dropped his career in international policy, left Boston, reexamined relationships and identities, and flew West. His music has nods to The Beach Boys and a pre Disney Phil Collins. He weaves surf rock guitars and fleecy synths with delicate, careful vocals.

Onsen toured Southern California this summer and is preparing for his first international show in Tokyo at Shin Nakahara’s Curator’s Cube in early November.

Flaunt is delighted to premiere Onsen’s new music video “Peggy Lee” directed by Andy Byers.

We asked Onsen “Hey! What’s in Yr Fridge?”

“I write a lot of my music on synths like this Multivox Strings & Brass, including “Peggy Lee.” The rest I write on an old Telecaster I bought from a rockabilly musician in Northern California.”

“Literature and art have a huge influence on how I interpret the world and in turn how I form my experiences into music. My grandmother was heavily involved in the New York modern art scene starting in the ’50s. I was lucky to get handed down some her art books.”

“I try to cook whenever I can. Having great ingredients makes all the different. Cookbook in Echo Park has insane spices and those are little ceramic cups by my friend Em Gift.”

“I’ve been lucky to move around quite a bit in my life. These are the objects I’ve picked up along the way and gifts from my friends: ceramic pieces from Japan, postcards from going to Vesuvius when I was 10, a few significant tarot cards, a friend’s bronze elephant sculpture, and a pic of me at 4 holding my prized toy car looking stoked.”

“This is one of my favorite possessions, a painting by my friend Sara Bright (who also did artwork for Earthquake Weather). Tucked in the background is a piece by Charles Woods & David Osborn who are an amazing printmaking couple from Nevada City. I think this print is from the late ’60s.”

“All of my music is about this.”

Written by Miles Griffis

Quotes from Onsen

Photographed by Michael Aguirre and Price Peterson