We spoke with Springtime Carnivore – a former acrobat turned musician – about her dreamy video for “Low Clouds”, premiering here at Portable.
Portable: So tell us, how was Springtime Carnivore born?
Springtime Carnivore: Basically, I’ve been self-recording all these songs while recovering from a nearly tragic tightrope accident. My friend bought me a 4 track recorder and I generally use microphones and amplifiers and telecoms found at thrift shops. It’s an experiment as I go. I was lucky enough to use the internet to be reached by a record label in Europe called LebensStrasse, who is releasing a 7-inch for me next week in Europe and Asia.
P: Are you still recovering?
Springtime Carnivore: Fortunately I am fully recovered!
P: That’s great, is that yourself in the video?
Springtime Carnivore: No. It is an actress named Brittany Grayson, who was cast by the director. Christopher Lew, the cinematographer, reached out to me having found the music on bandcamp and wanted to this dreamy tone-poem of a short film, so I happily gave them permission to use the song.
P: We love the video, it’s beautifully dreamy – what did you shoot it on and why?
Roman Tchjen (Writer / Director): What really turns me on is the idea of visualizing a world and creating characters inspired by a song. I think it’s very romantic. It seemed appropriate to shoot the music video on film (Kodak Super 16mm film with the ARRI SR3) because it created a really raw low-fi feel. Plus, Chris and I always talked in the past about how we wanted to shoot film and this seemed like as good a time as any. We’re both really glad it turned out well!
P: The raw low-fi feel really works well with the song, where was it shot?
Roman Tchjen: We shot most of the video in Hamilton, Canada. There was this really sketchy motel that my producer found. It was really crummy and there was this shallow pool with green water in the middle of the parking lot. I remember thinking I’d stepped into some seedy neighbourhood in LA. When we pulled up on the day of the shoot, there were two squad cars out front. We shot anyway. It was terrifying but awesome at the same time.
P: What inspired the concept for the video?
Roman Tchjen: When Chris, my long-time friend and collaborator, introduced me to Springtime’s Low Clouds, the first thing we thought of was this lonely world and the lonely girl that lives in it. But we didn’t try to tell some big experimental narrative with lots of hidden meanings. It was just about telling a simple story that meshed with the wonderfully sombre mood that was already in the song.
P: What does the future hold for Springtime Carnivore?
Springtime Carnivore: The Collectors 7-inch will be released on LebensStrasse Records (a label in Portugal) here.
Otherwise, I’m writing songs in preparation for the full-length record and am plotting out another few music video ideas for the next six months. Hoping to tour in Europe and Asia next year sometime, where there has been the most label and fan support so far.
Chris Lew (Cinematographer): We’re also looking forward to meeting up with Springtime next month here in Toronto! We’re excited to hear what she’s been working on for her album and would be more than thrilled to work with her on another video!