Scottish dream-folk outfit Constant Follower released new single ‘I Can’t Wake You / Altona’ this weekend, the latest tracks to see the light of day ahead of their forthcoming debut album, due for release in March via Shimmy Disc / Joyful Noise Recordings, home to previous releases from the likes of Deerhoof, Dinosaur Jr and Sufjan Stevens.
It’s a sparse, beautifully melancholic track, forged in the aftermath of a gang attack on frontman McAll during his teens which left him with a traumatic head injury and the loss of his childhood memories.
Speaking of the track, McAll says “‘I Can’t Wake You’ is one of the first songs I wrote following my recovery. Like many of my songs, it began with a phrase I’d been trying to make sense of, ‘Moments last forever’. Rather than the meaning, like the name of the band, of those momentary happenings following you through life, it’s more about the way time seems to slow to a stop in a moment of great shock. It’s intriguing how our perception of time seems to be fluid depending on what’s happening to us.”
It’s accompanied by a video created with overlaid negatives of archive photography and contemporary clips of everyday life, created by German artist Nathalia van der Kerst, and we’re delighted to bring you a first chance to watch it on Joyzine today.
“We met when her partner (Swedish musician Magnus Josefsson) was supporting us at a gig in Glasgow,” McAll recollects. “Nathalia seemed to connect with my music on a deep level and I could tell right away how fiercely creative she seemed and was determined to work with her. Nathalia describes her process and the thought behind the video better than I can:”
“I used some shots I filmed in January, when I helped an old friend here in the woods to clear up his house. We found a box with negatives of photographs, printed on glass. It was difficult to see anything on the negatives, so I put them on the screen of my tablet and played a color gradient video on it. I put the single glass images on the screen and layered them over each other, and suddenly they started to tell some kind of story against the song and were connected through the moving colors in the background. Different images of different times but now connected in one media. I guess this is somehow what this universe is about – we always see just fragments and what they mean to us, how we put them together and what they become depends on our own setting. And I think music is a very powerful tool to influence that mental setting.”
Article by Paul Maps
Photograph by David Newitt