Debut: Soft Metals, “Psychic Driving”

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One girls learns to breathe under water and store pearls in her cheeks.

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December 13, 2011

Soft Metals' self-titled debut is out now on Captured Tracks.
Director Erica Schreiner on creating the Soft Metals video for Psychic Driving:
When I spoke with Patricia of Soft Metals about creating a music video, she said, “ When I saw Adam Curtis' The Living Dead, I was moved by the tragic stories of people who underwent experimental electroshock therapy and brain surgeries in addition to repeated listens to "psychic driving" tapes in an effort to erase the bad memories that were ruining their lives and causing poor mental health. It made me think about my life and the experiences I've had. It makes me wonder if there are any memories from the past that torment me day to day and how my psyche works to keep me sane. I feel I have a lot of inner strength and have pulled through some hard times, but some people don't recover from their traumas and they're left tormented forever. Visually, I imagine a female- like yourself, introspective, and innocent.”

I was drawn to the lyrics, “bathe in amnesia,” and I loved the image of water, as it would be a great vessel to indicate intentional erasure of the mind. Once our character is under water, she discovers and object (the mirror key) and it unlocks a magical fruit containing glitz and starfish. The starfish represent a piece of her current world, presented to her in a new light. It’s full of self-examination (mirror) and exploration (key). Ultimately she finds another key and we don’t know what it unlocks. The possibilities are open.

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Depression is very close to me so when Patricia presented the inspiration for this song, I was excited to determine a concept for the video. When you are at war with your own brain, you do ask yourself how to make it stop. Maybe with drugs, alcohol, electric shocks, religion, whatever. I felt the image of being underwater was strong because it conveys a kind of cleansing- and it’s so close to drowning – another potential conclusion of where negative emotions can take us.

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