Muscle & Marrow, “Black Hole”

Meredith Schneider

Portland’s electronic rock duo Muscle & Marrow–comprised of Kira Clark (guitar/vocals) and Keith McGraw (drums/samples)–just released their sophomore album, titled Love, in May. They haven’t released an album since their 2014 debut The Human Cry, an intricately woven–and inherently feminine–piece. In the process of writing this second album, Clark lost a close family member. Love–and the loss of love–is the overarching theme of Love, with dark undertones reminiscent of its predecessor. We’ve got the exclusive premiere on the official video for their latest single “Black Hole”.

The band worked with director Lu Yim on the video, which was produced by Patua Films. Somehow disturbing and beautiful at the same time, the visuals are both vibrant and stunning. After all, what other band do you know that would produce a video that starts with a close up shot of a person’s center, the pubic area covered in grass/astroturf? The dark instrumentals, a combination of semi-tribal with an almost European old-folk feel, continue as the camera quickly pans to someone–with a blue tongue, no less–licking it the grass, followed by shots of a couple holding hands, another pair caressing each other’s faces. The sexual undercurrents of the video are  more than just connotations, unmistakable from the get-go.

Clark’s vocals set in over a shadowy visual of a pair intertwined, a woman staring blankly at the camera as she smears pink paint on the back of her partner. Both tattooed and wearing minimal clothing, the real emotion in the song hits with her first line, “I feel stronger now / When I’m alone.” All of the shots incorporate very intimate touch between people, as the video explores the human body and takes a much more in-depth look at the female form. Women of various ages don a wire crown, simple backgrounds enhance their facial features and expressions.

The video is art. Not easy to swallow at times because of the clarity of some of the visuals, it’s living, breathing observance of women in different phases, with a nod toward the morbid. We wouldn’t expect anything less from this talented and unique duo.

MUSCLE & MARROW – ON TOUR w/ Marissa Nadler and Wrekmeister Harmonies
July 8  Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
July 9  Denver, CO @ Lost Lake Lounge
July 10  Omaha, NE @ Reverb
July 11  Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
July 12  Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
July 13  Detroit, MI @ El Club
July 14  Toronto, ON @ The Drake
July 15  Montreal, QC @ La Salla Rossa
July 16  Hudson, NY @ Half Moon
July 19  Boston, MA @ Great Scott
July 20  Providence, RI @ Aurora
July 21  New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
July 22  Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas
July 24  Washington, DC @ DC9
July 25  Raleigh, NC @ Cats Cradle Back Room
July 26  Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
July 27  New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
July 29  Austin, TX @ The Sidewinder
July 30  Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves
August 1  Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
August 2  San Diego, CA @ Casbah
August 3  Los Angeles, CA @ Echo
August 4  San Francisco CA @ The Chapel
August 5  Big Sur, CA @ Henry Miller Library
August 7  Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt
August 8  Seattle, WA @ Barbosa

Love is available now. 

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