Sometimes in the realm of art, sonics and visuals come together in such perfect synergy that the two become almost inseparable. A perfect example of this symbiosis is the work of lyrical folk chanteuse, Lucy Roleff, who seems to have an incredible knack for attracting the perfect visual accompaniment to her sombre, earthly folk tunes.
Take a dive into her stream of video content and you’ll find yourself swimming in a stream of esoteric visuals that are haunting and serene in equal measure, much like her music.
Lucy Roleff and filmmaker, Alex Badham work together wonderfully on the video for Aspen, creating something that is beautiful and inseparable.
Melbourne’s Lucy Roleff is a classically trained artist with a history steeped in traditional European folk styles and ornate, fractured storytelling. She works in this realm of haunting minimalism that, while common in modern forms of folk music, is rarely executed so beautifully.
Her latest single, Aspen is an icy, crystallised piece of chamber folk; delicate and piercing as a stalactite. The focal point of Roleff’s music is, of course, her voice: this quavering, rather deep husk, that has the blunt European tongue of singers like Nico and Sibylle Baier.
Floating around her gorgeous vocals is this disembodied collection of instrumentation. Lead by a softly plucked, nylon-string guitar is a shower of spectral sounds that bloom and retract in surging intervals around Roleff’s pastoral lyrics about the Victorian alps.
There are bell-like synth whispers and delicate, rolling cymbals. Occasionally a double bass is plucked, perhaps to fill the void of Roleff’s absent voice. Everything is so careful and considered, but also, seemingly without design. Hats off to producer, Tony Dupé (Holly Throsby, Grand Salvo) for his steady hand. Everything is so light and delicate, it’s a wonder the track didn’t materialise from thin air.
The accompanying video is the perfect thing to get lost in, alongside the track. Shot in the stark, callous surrounds of the Victorian alpine region, the clip is a mixture of fractal vignettes featuring running streams and swaying branches, bleak roadside landscapes and towering trees.
It’s a romantic and lonely interpretation of Roleff’s own serene storytelling, with just the right amount of obscurity to keep you fascinated: the song and the visual compliment each other seamlessly.
The video was directed by Alex Badham, who played with Roleff in dream-pop outfit, Magic Hands (they sound a little like Beach House, check them out). The two obviously work together flawlessly. Badham’s understanding of the song’s depth is palpable as he steers well clear of the typical folk music video archetype in exchange for something abstract and far more beautiful. The clip and song are the perfect pair, and if you’re like me, they will be inseparable.