Brooklyn based five-piece Apache Beat‘s harmonious fusion of post-punk-wave and shoegaze sounds has garnered them a cult following since their inception in 2006. Fronted by Ilirjana Alushaj, who could have easily come out of an industrial 80s maximalist time-machine, the anticipation for their sophomore release, the follow up to 2010′s Last Chants is on the cards with the release of “Tracing Sky,” and its accompanying hazy video inspired by the Australian cinema classic, Picnic At Hanging Rock.
Lifted from their forthcoming EP, expect to hear influences from 90s dream-pop to iconic Brit-pop with “massive lush sounds. Big vocals and harmonies. Inspired from My Bloody Valentine to the Happy Mondays. But still keep our strong percussion section and dark inspirations,” Alushaj told Portable.
Furthermore, the marriage between sound and image is an integral element to Apache Beat’s overall aesthetic which Alushaj explained; ”I think the song needs the correct atmos to make it work. So the art and the video and everything that pertains to the live performance needs to send a message. I think that listeners respond better to a whole package. Also it can be a little dull when there is none. We think of being a performer as an audio-visual experience.”
For the band’s latest track, the video process came naturally, and from a place of visual inspiration. Alushaj expressed, “With “Tracing Sky” when I was writing lyrics, the film Picnic At Hanging Rock came to mind. So when we met with [directors] Gella and Mark I suggested that as a reference and gave them some visual ideas. Then let them come up with a concept. You can’t try and control everything as you’d go mad. Mind you our first video was directed by our guitar player, Philip [Aceto]. He is a filmmaker and we trusted him, so it worked out well.”
Directed by Gella Zefira and Mark Lovato, the video follows a hauntingly eerie plot paralleling the film on which it is based on. Described by Zefira as, “a trippy mashup of Picnic at Hanging Rock / Easy Rider / Melancholia. We wanted it to have a nostalgic and referential feel but in a subconscious way. Though, once completed, we kind of think of it as three kids doing acid before the end of the world,” the film undeniably draws on both directors fine arts backgrounds, specifically in painting.
“The visual places the sound spatially,” expressed Zefira, and through employing techniques inspired by Picnic At Hanging Rock director Peter Weir, “While filming we put a veil on the lens [like Weir]…to create a dreamy/imperfect film effect. We wanted that early 70s vibe so in the editing phase we drew inspiration from Easy Rider, and then loosely recycled some of the styles from these films layering them with graphics,” she explained further.
The finished visual product is just as spaced-out as the song, and we love it.