Brooklyn post-punk trio Veda Rays has been hitting us with their hazy yet urgent take on the genre for some time now, and last year’s For the Rest to Rest was a serious heavy-hitter for those in the know. Today, CVLT Nation is excited to share the debut of the new video for “Close Range,” a song that sways between mournful and venomous without losing its collected and focused nature.
Directed by Steve Pierce of Saudade Studios and Veda Rays frontman James, “Close Range” cuts from disconnected shots of the band sitting together yet somehow miles apart in the same room to live footage overlaid with projections from a 2018 fundraiser for NY State Senator Julia Salazar and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The juxtaposition highlights a tension that’s palpable in the song itself, which marries crystal-sharp rhythms with glittering melodies, all coiled up and ready to burst but never quite exploding.
Says James of the video:
“The treatment for the ‘Close Range’ video went through many iterations. At first it was envisioned as something closer to a short film than a typical music video. It got to the point where we felt it had collapsed under its own weight and the project was put aside. Months later we were asked to play a benefit for the Democratic Socialist politician Julia Salazar, to be held on the rooftop of the Brooklyn venue Our Wicked Lady. We set up our gear, soundchecked, then patiently waited near the stage. As Salazar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez interacted with supporters, we found ourselves surrounded by photographers and press simply due to our proximity to the politicians. Finding ourselves in this situation struck us as being strangely meaningful in a life-mirroring-art kind of a way.
‘Close Range’ had always been about examining the authenticity of one’s identity and the inescapable appearance of ugliness inherent within certain types of ambition. Furthermore, one of the overarching themes of For the Rest to Rest had to do with image and identity, specifically as presented through the lens of the media, whether self-curated through one’s own social media platforms, or by professional design, channeled through larger outlets. We promptly started capturing footage of the photographers who were shooting away at the politicians. It was surreal, especially in light of it being Salazar, who had recently been in the midst of a minor scandal having to do with some question of authenticity and identity. And it was surreal because we had already filmed scenes for this video in which one of the characters was surrounded by photographers who were firing away at her. Even the deep magenta hued stage lights which happened to be on during this moment matched the tone we had in mind for our video.
Needless to say this event prompted us to pick back up with production. I called Steve Pierce (aka Saudade Studios), our co-director/co-producer/director of photography, and told him what had happened. Everything else fell into place. Some of the actual footage we captured at the Salazar benefit can be seen in the final cut. It is projected on the screen behind the band during the performance segments, and the characters in the bedroom can be seen viewing some of the footage on their devices.”
Watch and get lost in the world between reality and the shadows we cast on its walls as Veda Rays lull you into a sense of deceptive comfort. If you’re in the New York City area, join Veda Rays in celebrating the music video’s release at the official release party on Tuesday, March 5th at Ceremony in Brooklyn. They’ll be joined by The Salt Rose and Winkie, along with DJ Joe Hart providing music to keep the night moving.