ATTEMPT is one of many side projects from the guys in Hair Police – this one courtesy of Trevor Tremaine, who veers a bit from his full-time gig as drummer for the enduring Kentucky experimental psych band. His four-song EP Against The Light is a psychedelic witches’ brew full of swirling sonic textures and ear-popping atmospherics. While the title track “Against The Light” was released earlier this year, mxdwn has the premiere of the other-worldly video for the track. Against the Light came out October 27 on Desperate Spirits.
The clip is directed by fellow Hair Police member Robert Beatty, who is gaining quite a bit of recognition for his talent creating eye-popping album art. He has made covers for groups like Mister Heavenly, Ariel Pink and Kesha. He lends his visual aesthetic in fitting fashion to Tremaine’s song, juxtaposing the vocalist’s face with a hippie-dancing woman, all smeared with heavy retro filming techniques.
Despite ATTEMPT being largely a solo endeavor of Tremaine, “Against The Light” is the first truly collaborative effort for the project. Unsurprisingly the song was built around his vocal melodies, and as Tremaine describes the creative process for this song, “(Drummer) Dave Farris supplied the layers of Martin Denny (the “father of exotica”) clatter and Robert Beatty detonated the Lydian sinewave fireworks in the coda. On the final version, I patched a take of the full-band live jam from whence this melody sprung.” While the album version of “Against The Light” features an epic guitar solo and runs close to 10 minutes, the video clip is cut down to a more brief running time of 4:50, cutting out the guitar heroics.
With the freak-out middle portion removed, “Against The Light” is a relatively simple affair, largely guided by Tremaine’s Brian Wilson-esque vocal harmonies. Full-on drumming is absent from the mix, instead using simple percussive instruments (the aforementioned Martin Denny clatter) to keep the rhythm. As the song gathers elements, gradually becoming a more complex beast, so do Beatty’s visuals. A flash of pink joins a series of green dots and streaks, eventually exploding into a colorful burst as the song transitions from its minimalist base into a kaleidoscopic swirl of vintage keyboard tones.
Tremaine provides a bit of an “aha” moment in terms of the song title’s significance, explaining “The conceit of “Against The Light” is jaywalking as a metonym for taking a selfish and irresponsible and irrational risk, less for personal gain than to sort of course-correct reality, an act which this song seems to celebrate.”
Against The Light EP
1. “Cancellations and Delays”
2. “Items on a Questionnaire”
4. “Against the Light”