Jesse Draxler has released a new music video featuring Chelsea Wolfe and Ben Chisholm for Wolfe’s song “Valerian.” The track is the third single to be released from Draxler’s upcoming album Reigning Cement, a collection of songs from various artists influenced by the industrial landscape around Los Angeles, scheduled for a September 4 release.
Filmed in black and white, the screen becomes encompassed in light as steam and smoke whisk across. Wolfe pushes her hair back, the experimental track incorporating her eerie vocals and abundant sounds of feedback and hums. Drum beating with quick tempos thrum amid rushing sounds of wind. Clouds floating fade into Wolfe’s ritual movements, images flicking and appearing behind broken screens. The camera shakes as lights stretch across to simulate a haze.
“When submitting this track, Chelsea briefly mentioned how the lyrics are an ode to her relationship with Valerian root and its effects on sleeping habits and insomnia,” Draxler said in a press statement. “With the video we wanted to echo this notion to create a morphing and echoing sleep-scape, straddling the line between dream and nightmare. The video was created by myself and Rizz (of the band VOWWS), while the footage of Chelsea was kinda given to us by herself.
Wolfe’s voice echos throughout the course of “Valerian,” highlighting the sleepy soundscape of the track with its experimental tones. The imagery of the video balance between peaceful and horror, both Wolfe’s faint pitches and Draxler’s footage creating an unsettled edge.
Reigning Cement is created to accompanying a 100-page photography book created by Draxler. Draxler has handpicked music created by various musicians to accompany his book, each musician creating a song made of 34 sonic elements from the industrial environment surrounding his Los Angeles studio. Copies of Draxler’s first 500 vinyls and a limited edition clear pressing have already sold out. The album will be available digitally via Bandcamp on September 4.
“The photographic images are all from my neighborhood,” Draxler said in a press statement. “That’s very much a part of the concept. There are images that I wanted to include that would’ve worked really well in the book, but I didn’t put them in because I took them in Japan or something.”
Other artists contributing to Draxler’s project include Eric Ghoste of Ghostemane, Exploited Body, Gendo Ikari, Greg Puciato, Intensive Care, Lisa Munco of Fucked & Bound, O Future, Planet B, Portrayal of Guilt, Reeko, Shifted, Street Sects, Surachai, Thirst Church, Trentmøller, TR/ST, Uniform, Sex Alvarez of Meth and Jaye Jayle. The two previously released singles from Reigning Cement include Dylan Walker from Full of Hell’s track, “Time reign cemenT” and Vowws’ “Them.”
“It’s not just an album that comes with a book,” Draxler said in a press statement. “You could also say it’s a book that comes with an album.”
Chrisholm has also collaborated with Jayle in recent months, the two creating the upcoming album Prisyn together. Jayle released the track “The River Spree” yesterday, exploring an acid trip he had once taken in Berlin. Prisyn will be released on August 7. Chrisholm also directed Wolfe’s latest music video for her song “Highway.”
Wolfe recently formed the group Mrs. Piss with Jess Gowrie, the two releasing their debut album Self-Surgery this past May. Wolfe had also joined Two Minutes to Late Night for a quarantine cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train,” along with releasing her own cover of The Cramps’ “Sheena’s in a Goth Gang” for the recent tribute album.
Photo credit: Ekateriana Gorbacheva