Spirit Vine's version of Los Angeles is something frenetic, haunting, eclipsed with natural beauty that invokes artistic creativity in all. In the dazzling-dazing video for "City Daze" directed by Karri Bowman with cinematography by Amberlie Bankoff; sun kissed images switch back and forth between scenes of cruising the street asphalt grids of Echo Park for the hidden forestall pathways along the Chavez Ravine of Elysian Park. Having discussed their new album Ascender with us recently, Spirit Vine show how to keep it cool around Echo, while soaking up various film filters in the downtown haze. They present the most idyllic, free day ever spent in LA. A day to vamp it up, a day free to strut around town with confidence holding the key to the kingdom close to the heart.
From planking on the greenbelt, the contrast of the traffic on the nearby road, rides around town, and forest foliage hideaways; Spirit Vine gives you their own goth-misfit version of LA indie aristocrats on hallucinogens. The concrete maze of LA is captured through burnt color swatches, mimicking the candy induced visual euphoria that increases as the song's key chorus progression chords strike the nerve's central core that responds to the municipally induced arrays of stress and tension. The analogue-esque blotting of the music video's film composition, to the signature chords of "City Daze," manage to flip upside down the cruising corridors like the mystical trip of distorted minds and trees; fluxing between the worlds of the dead and the the living in the urban forest.
Check out our following conversation with the band, as we get more dazed and confused over the visualization of "City Daze".
From using various focuses, filters, locales and settings; how did you go about adapting "City Daze" into the hazy visuals?
We really wanted 'City Daze' to evoke the feel of Echo Park and the urban backdrop it provides. It's so rich in its own history and all of the street art exemplifies LA pride. We are proud of where we live, where so many different walks of life combine and the bulk of the video is shot in Elysian Park, one of LA's hidden gems. I find it really fascinating to have so much pride for a city that can also drive you crazy. The love for all of the opportunities it provides and then the hatred for the rat race.
In the juxtaposition of both LA streets and rural, forest-y environments, was this a conscious attempt to provide the yin and yang of love and hate, and feelings of affection for LA as much as those escapist feelings?
Absolutely, we wanted to create a metaphor with the idea of these misfits chasing the band, alluring them with seduction and 'happy pills' only to discover that escapism can be the death of the spirit. The city has so much love to give, but the minute you turn your back on her she begins to haunt you. You can run but you can't hide. The problems and challenges we face in LA aren't solved by leaving or escaping, they follow you wherever you go. The song itself has so much frenetic energy and that is the pulse of Los Angeles, frenetic and haunting eclipsed with all of the beauty that nature provides and the spirit of artists coming together to help each other's visions come alive.
(Spirit Vine, as captured by Natalia Pizzaro)
We talked last time about your trip to Mexico, ascending the pyramids of Teotihuacan. With the release of Ascender, how much of that mysticism do you feel is still with you, or did it ever really leave, and how does that experience continue to haunt or inspire?
Teotihuacan is a spiritual mecca. You can feel it in the air, the rocks and dust blow these messages, silent whispers of ancient wisdom. When you climb to the top, the wind pierces your ears and you are filled with so many answers, so much clarity. Los Angeles has a pace that never rests, Mexico and the pyramids taught me relaxation. The art of relaxation and literally doing nothing, just complete contentment in being.
What's Spirit Vine up to this Fall?
We have one more night left of our October residency at The Satellite this coming Monday. Then, we begin pre-production for our next round of recording with Lewis Pesacov (Best Coast, Fools Gold) producing! We will play some West Coast out of LA shows and continue writing and tightening all of our new tunes for recording.
What's the band's plan or predictions for 2014?
We begin recording with Lewis in January and expect the new material to be out sometime in summer/fall of 2014.We are planning a SxSW tour staring mid March that will take us over to New York for a residency in April at the Cake Shop and a bunch of East Coast tour dates. We are planning to be in Europe by the summer for our first European tour. It's been so cool to see the evolution of this band and our sound. It's one of the most addictive qualities about making art, to watch the inspiration spawn growth. What's going to happen next? Where will we take it in another year? All of the unknown manifesting itself.
Spirit Vine's album Ascender is available now via iTunes.