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Paris Pick hopes for the best in new music video release

Whitehorse soul-pop artist Paris Pick will be releasing her sophomore album on June 4.
Paris Pick and videographer Gabriel Bullen on the Hope for the Best video set. (Thomas Bullen/Bullen Brothers)

Paris Pick was overwhelmed by the response to her most recent music video. The song, Hope for the Best, is the title track off her upcoming sophomore LP, and the upbeat, hopeful lyrics and melodies fit well in these times, she thought.

“It worked in so many ways,” Pick tells The News in her usual cheery tone. “The story ties in with the theme of being hopeful that everything is gonna be okay, even if you have a shitty job, you have to take the good things out of the bad, and also after the rough year we’ve had, it’s like hoping the next one is better!”

Inspired by a since-closed venue dear to the hearts of many Yukon musicians and music-lovers, Epic Pizza, the video sees Pick driving door-to-door as a pizza courier and being greeted by less-than-polite customers, until she feeds a room of hungry partiers in the final scene.

Shot by The Bullen Brothers, an award-winning Whitehorse videographer team, the clip amassed hundreds of views in its first few days, and the numbers are still climbing, building anticipation for the forthcoming record.

“I’ve just been jonesing for a while to get this album frickin’ done and over with,” says Pick. “I was really excited to see so many people sharing it and tagging me and saying so many nice things. That definitely felt gratifying after holding on this long.”

The making of the video didn’t come without its hiccups, as the car Pick was driving died within the first three days of shooting. She had to buy a new car right away and reshoot almost everything she had done so far, but other than that, it was a mostly enjoyable process.

With help from a Yukon Media Development grant, Pick was able to enlist Thomas and Gabriel Bullen, who were enthused about she idea when she pitched it to them. Pick had wondered what kind of weird things the pizza delivery drivers in town must see on a daily basis, and realized that would make a great concept for a music video. It only made sense to include a shout-out to Epic Pizza, the first venue Pick ever played, at a Whitewater Wednesday open mic performance.

In fact, Epic Pizza’s owner, Josh Paton, was so touched by the video, he decided to dig up an old hot sauce recipe and rebrand it as Hope for the Best Pineapple Habanero Hot Sauce for a limited release.

Pick’s upcoming record will be released on June 4, and celebrated with two shows at The Local Bar, that night and the next. Pick recognizes that she’s lucky to live in Whitehorse, where live performances are still able to happen, and isn’t about to take that for granted by not giving this pair of performances her all.

“It’s gonna be really special,” she says. “I’m working on creating a whole magical vibe for it.”

Hope for the Best follows Pick’s 2018 debut album, “Feeling Love,” which saw her tour across Canada in the fall of 2019 to promote. She hopes to get back on the road as soon as she’s able, and is eyeing up a smaller tour of British Columbia first before taking off to the other side of the country again—but aims to make it even further, after reaching Montreal last time.

“I would like to go out east — to Halifax,” she says. “It’ll happen eventually.”

With Hope for the Best, Pick found herself getting more comfortable as a songwriter and more confident in her abilities to lead a band. She has always surrounded herself with some of the finest musicians in Whitehorse and beyond, something she says helps her push herself to her maximum.

On Hope for the Best, she was joined by Aiden Tentrees on bass, Selina Heyligers-Hare on backing vocals, Lee Campese on drums and percussion, Adrian Burrill on trumpet, Olivier de Colombel on saxophone, Zachary Pelland on guitar and Amber Pelland on keys. The Pellands have since moved away to Ontario, and Pick has enlisted Faro’s Elijah Beck as guitarist.

They recorded with Jim Holland at Green Needle Records, who co-produced the album with Pick. Holland also sat in on some meetings with the band before the recording process started, so they could flesh out their ideas and not have to idle on the clock.

“We do the experimenting in a pre-production meeting because studio time is expensive,” she says. “By the time we hit the studio, we know exactly what we’re gonna do.”

Pick herself handled lead vocals, but she’s been upping her guitar chops over the past year, and has a goal to play guitar in the studio next time. Since she’s always writing, Pick was able to pick the songs that fit together best from her ever-growing arsenal for this album. She has other songs she hasn’t fully fleshed out yet to go towards her next record, but only the best of the best ever end up actually being recorded and released.

“One in ten might be a good one or a keeper,” she explains.

In addition to writing non-stop and constantly performing, Pick is also always planning. She has personal and professional goals, and splits them up into two categories: broad dreams which she may or may not achieve, and logical next-step targets she can make sure she hits.

“It’s good to have dreams,” she says. “But I have my regular goals too, like getting a label, which I got.”

Hope for the Best will be released via Ontario label Care Records. Pick connected with the label through founder Jackson Reed, who mentioned to her that they’d love to have a female-led group on their roster and offered her the spot.

It’s been a long while of anticipation for Pick, who has been working on the record tirelessly for over a year, filming the Hope for the Best music video last summer and recording the album the previous fall.

“I just want this out into the world so I can move on,” she says with a laugh.

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