Us HISKIND lot don’t hide the fact we are rather big fans of synth-laiden slow jams. Newcomers Shadowlark are pretty damn good at these, even if they’ve only got two singles to their name to date.
Hailing from Leeds, Shadowlark (Ellen Smith, Chris Quick and James Warrender) are a trio who should deservingly have ‘one to watch’ written all over them. Dropping their grand, eery debut single Do Your Worst back in May, the group have caused a stir with comparisons ranging from Bat For Lashes to London Grammer to Fleetwood Mac for their cinematic and glossy take on indie-pop.
For latest single Control, the trio roped in writer/director duo The Brothers Lynch to take charge of the track’s accompanying video. Noting their work as “aspiring to create stories that are challenging but accessible for their audience,” the duo’s accolades include a BFI London Film Festival premiere and winners of the Raindance Live Ammunition Pitching Competition at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.
The resulting video: An animated story of freedom vs. restraint set in a beautifully monochrome, dystopian universe. Certainly one of the more intriguing and visually stunning clips we’ve encountered on our Monday…
In line with the release of the Control video, Shadowlark explain the story behind the video and the importance of visuals for emerging musicians:
What have been some of the key visual inspirations that inspired the Control video?
The video is the brainchild of two writers/directors called The Brothers Lynch. We sent them our track and they immediately came back with some screen grabs of an idea they had been working on. It was just a great bit of serendipity as the world and story they were looking to create matched the theme of the song perfectly. It’s mistaken for a love song, but Control is more about questioning the state of the world and the greater powers that may or may not dictate our everyday lives.
What would you like the audience to take away from viewing the video?
As with any art, it’s important to try and understand where it comes from, but equally important that each viewer/listener can take away what they want from it and make their own mind up. There is certainly a journey in both the song and the video, so hopefully audience members will relate to this in one way or another. Plus it looks incredible! What’s not to like! (big love to The Brothers Lynch x)
As an emerging band, harnessing solid visuals and a ‘look’ is often essential. How in-control do you like to be when it comes to visuals and video?
We certainly like to be involved in the visual side of things, but ultimately we are musicians, so it’s important to know your own limitations – often it’s just as simple as not having the time to fully immerse ourselves in that world. We are fortunate to be working with some really talented artists (something we are certainly passionate about) at the moment who really understand what we are trying to achieve musically, so it’s easy to discuss options and put our two penneth in the pot!
How would you summarise the music scene in Leeds?
The music scene in Leeds is nurturing and eclectic. We live in a city where luckily diversity and different styles of music are celebrated and find their own homes and fan bases. The wealth of great venues and promoters certainly helps, with places like The Brudenell Social Club giving a lot of different artists a lot of opportunities.
HAIM, Bat For Lashes, Lana Del Rey are all easy big-name comparisons to find attached to Shadowlark. Any pressure from this?
We are quite good at applying our own pressure – we are all perfectionists so if we aren’t 100% happy with something it doesn’t see the light of day. Those artists are all flattering comparisons though, and we will certainly do our best to match their success… watch this space!
Control is out now. Check out more on The Brothers Lynch right here.