Video Premiere: Theophilus London, ‘Rio’

Watch Theophilus London's "Rio" video.

Watch Theophilus London get romantic in his “Rio” video.

Theophilus London‘s a globe-trotting kinda dude, but the musician didn’t have to head too far to film his video for “Rio”: To conjure the memory of nights on the beach and too many umbrella-topped cocktails, London brings us a romantic, retro performance set in New York. The story begins in black-and-white, with a lone lady in search of a speakeasy. She finds it in an NYC hotel bar that bursts into color and a back room where London and the five-piece Menahan Street Band offer a vivid serenade.

Watch Theophilus London’s “Rio” video after the jump.

The song’s romantic and funky, pausing between buttery choruses for the crunch of staccato bass and horn stabs. It borrows from ’70s soul even as the video’s influenced by extra, extra old-school style, all flapper dresses and vintage beverages. Back in 2013, London stays rocking snapbacks and shades. “Can we meet at lover’s lane?” he sings, but the man keeps his seduction classy: There’s no striptease or bedroom booty-shaking here, just flirting and dancing. London doesn’t even take his shine blockers off. We wouldn’t either — the past may have had its golden eras, but the future (and, ahem, London’s next album) is looking pretty bright.

+ Watch Theophilus London’s “Rio” video.

Photo credit: Tracy Bailey