So excited to premiere Ultraviolet by Swallows. It is a sneak peek of their new album In the Shadow of the Seven Stars – coming out March 19!
The album tells the story of Frances Coles, who was brutally murdered February 13, 1891 – exactly 130 years ago today! She was murdered under a railway arch at Swallow Gardens near the Whitechapel District of London. There was only one witness. He wanted to rush to help but could not move. Instead, he faded into the shadow of the Seven Stars.
Whoa, right? It’s tremendous escape from the lingering story of 2020 we are all living. It’s as much theater as music. It’s a mini rock opera!
The music is hypnotic. There’s a repeating riff with a gravitational sense of movement. The instrumental interludes evoke emotions. The low, aspirated steady vocals are anchoring but not comforting on the journey.
The video is a mashup of drawing and vintage footage. Visually think A-ha (Take on Me) meets The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. Thematically, think nightmare. It starts with a modern animated, first person trip into the London Underground, which is one of my favorite places in the world. Somehow they touch into that alone-too-late on the Tube feel that is disquieting to say the least. That animated thread of the video progresses to third person, surreal and terrifying. Interspersed are clips from old movies; it’s haunting yet compelling. I feel like the witness who could do nothing and could not look away.
Mostly I like to dance when I hear live music. Mostly I don’t like scary movies. Yet – on my list of things I want to do when the world opens is I want to see Swallows play In the Shadow of the Seven Stars at the Parkway Theater and I want them to have more video like this.