Next month will see the release of a new four-track EP, subtly named ‘Four Songs’, from London songwriter Dan Carney – AKA Astronauts. Who we’ve praised before for his beautiful single Skydive and subsequent remix from RocketNumberNine. The quadruplet will land on Lo Records at some point in the next coming weeks, following on from the Astronauts’ album Hollow Ponds and the successes of Skydive, which exploded on the Hype Machine, fast reaching the ‘Top 5 most blogged tracks’ after heavyweight love & support from the global music blogging community. But if you canny wait for the release I suppose I could supply you with a couple of the tracks for your audio and visual delight right this very moment… how lucky of thee…
Just taking some old black & white footage and throwing it over a release to make a music video might sound like a tired and rinsed idea that countless artists have utilised over the years (Just watch the art-house Entr’acte video from The Cinematic Orchestra). But if that’s the case, how come it’s always such a fucking joy to witness!? Every fucking time! It’s so enthralling, hypnotizing; watching the past – in action. And in this case, the magic of the 1940’s circus.
I haven’t been to a big top in fucking years!! I can’t remember at all if they’re as mad as they look in this video? I know modern circus’s have wilder light shows and heavier sound-systems and stuff all adding to the effects of the displays but the lack of safety equipment in this one from way back when puts a whole other dimension of ridiculous/intensity into the fray. And then there’s the track itself, I sink into the crisp October air in the presence of Dan’s soft whispering voice, I see the sun clawing away the relent of the clouds in the sky, a soft whisper of warm in the cold, bright blue sky, gentle rhythms and tinkling chimes/xylophone?’s making my day all the more worth while.
Think On, track three of the four, Lion Tamer being the second, is just as much a magical ride through the closing winter days as the last. You can almost see Dan’s breathy vocals fogging in the air. Again we’re treated with more archived black & white footage but this time of a much more sinister nature. It says the clip was taken from the film Theresa, which I can’t for the life of me find anywhere. I have no idea who the girl in the clip is but she looks like she might be one of those feral kids who was raised by wild dogs or something, the whole slow crawl and weird swaying and general bashful body-language is really uncomfortable to watch – being so distant from normal human behaviour. I know people can find themselves feeling uncomfortable in the presence of people with disabilities just because they might not move/communicate in a “normal” fashion. You can even apply the same thesis to people in the presence of a foreigner – on a small scale even an Englishman and an Irishman, or the next level being someone from the UK meeting someone from elsewhere in Europe, going as far as a Westerner meeting someone from an indigenous tribe – but this is a whole other level – it’s the animalistic nature combined with grainy footage, slightly distorting the finer details that make for a real creeper of a watch. Don’t do this one if you’re sitting on your jub in the dark feeling a bit prang.
And for future music video directors all over the world, never tire of digging up old reels from the past – it’s peng.