The Iron Giant. The Bends. Infinite Jest. Almost instantaneously those three unrelated things sprang to mind while viewing the video for The Sky Is Zero, the new single from The Sleep Millennium. The old sci-fi / horror element oozes from the screen, while omitting a peculiar sense of foreboding, introversion and, surprisingly enough, child-like wonder. It’s the kind of video that demands repeat viewings, so take a deep breath and take the plunge.
Evoking the mind expanding themes of surrealism and the feeling of child-like discovery, The Sleep Millennium have cobbled together the most impressive DIY video ever for The Sky Is Zero.
The Sleep Millennium is the moniker of Josh Schroeder who hails from Portland, Oregon. Besides having a great alias, Schroeder is a boss musician. The Sky Is Zero, the first cut from his debut EP Dark In The Light, is an intoxicating piece of indie pop that bleeds with psychedelic touches and sparkles with traces of dream-pop.
Given that description I don’t blame you for thinking the song may be bloated with sound, but on the contrary it’s a delicate piece of music that has rightfully earned the 3000 plus plays on SoundCloud in the last fortnight. For lovers of Tame Impala and The Flaming Lips, this is an artist you’ll want to add to your playlist.
The clip for The Sky Is Zero is a perfect compliment to the song, one that sees Schroeder extend his creative talents to film making. Shot in a dark room with some flashlight for lighting and a DSLR, the footage is a mix of public domain films form the 1950 and 1960s and NASA archival footage. As Schroeder says, “It’s as DIY as it gets.”
Speaking of his process for the making the video, Schroeder explains it was his attraction to surrealism that directed the tone and imagery of the video. “I’d say it’s a pretty loose concept with the footage of the 1953 Robot Monster signifying the current status quo, exercising mind-control over the earth” he says.
“While the people in the video are searching for truth out there, somewhere in the void. The Light signifies that truth people are seeking. There’s a reason dystopian themes in art, music, and film continue to surface and have for centuries – every generation / population in history seems to have their own struggles with the status quo.”
The vivid imagery presented in the video make the themes of self discovery and journey on the track come to life, and it’s a theme Schroeder says plays a big part on his debut EP. “The Sky Is Zero really sets the stage as the first track on the record. It’s an open invitation to the listener to start their own journey of self-discovery. I’m not sure if that’s translating visually or not because I wasn’t conscious of that when editing the footage… it’s more of a collage with a loose concept that seemed to fit how I wanted to present the music visually.”
If you’re digging the clip take heart that Schroeder is planning on making videos like this for each of the five songs on the EP. Dark In The Light will be released on February 26, and we eagerly await what else The Sleep Millennium has in store for us.