WL, “Refraction”

Post Author: Meredith Schneider

Portland’s three piece exploratory rock band WL – comprised of Misty Mary, Michael Yun, and Stevie Nistor – may have been playing together since 2012, but it is their upcoming sophomore visual album LIGHT YEARS that we are impatiently anticipating. We’ve got the video premiere for their single “Refraction”, an intensely otherworldly dance of a song, right here.

Says the band:

“Refraction” is defined as a change in the direction of a wave caused by an alteration in the medium that it is being transmitted in. In water, waves refract when moving from to deep and shallow or vice versa. Light is refracted when it passes through substances with different refractive indices like water or glass. 

This song is about the tension that occurs in the liminal phase between two stages of life. How elements can all of a sudden feel like they are moving at different speeds and breaking apart. It is about isolation and what can be seen when a whole is simplified down to it’s constituents; a tuning fork resonating a wooden table or a beam of white light passing through a prism.

The video slowly pans over a room in Misty’s house, taking in every ordinary object that is placed around. “I think we were filming in the spring time because the light coming through misty’s Windows was like some kind of alien being,” explains director Elaina Tardif. “After a grey winter you notice every little spot of light on the wall. Before I even knew the name of the song I was thinking about the phenomenon of refraction.” Misty herself is seen sitting on a couch, singing into the distance while stunning moving images layer delicately over her frame. Texture in the sound of “Refraction” is reflected almost perfectly in the video, as different textures and objects are presented. Floral arrangements, painting, bright colors, vivid overlays, illustrations all gather around her in a unique and beautiful way. A shot of two black cats, then various pieces of fruit dancing around an apple. Rain on the windows, leaves, and other scenes that may seem normal but hold power in their presentation as light refracts off of them.

“Misty’s house is an extension of herself, full of art and books and plants,” elaborates Tardif. “I approached this project openly, gathering hours of footage before even making a draft. We projected video of her objects onto them and shot that, and played with an overhead projector. All I wanted was to film her in her house, with the light and objects that were there. Digital effects and motifs found their way in, and they are also made of light so I let them stay.”

LIGHT YEARS is out October 28th via X-RAY RECORDS. It is available for preorder now.