Week in Pop: Emily Ritz, Hélène Barbier, Pictorial Candi

Sjimon Gompers

The continuing adventures of Berlin pop designer Pictorial Candi; photographed by Moritz Freudenberg.

Emily Ritz

Putting on the glitz & regality with Emily Ritz; photographed by Camila Falquez.

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Recently Emily Ritz shared the stunning Camila Falquez visual for “Take It Back” featuring body movements from the Periferia Dance Company with sophisticated choreography by Lobadys Perez. The evocative & organic-electro artist (one half of the cult Marina/San Francisco, California duo Yesway) draws a series of astounding sounds & styles find ways of transcending the chronological hold of time that don’t even feel classic, nor modern, but somehow levitate between the present & the heart-held hopes for tomorrow. Here today we cordially invite you to witness the awe-striking instrumental & vocal power of Emily Ritz featured in the intimate live performance visual premiere for “Snake Tongue” co-created by Jason Marlow that gives the viewer/listener the experience of being a candid audience member observing a mesmerizing musical ritual. Gradually we watch as the camera’s point-of-view grows closer & closer to Ritz while mid-song where everything revolves around an abundant teal-hued hand motif.

The visuals for “Snake Tongue” begin as a passive observer enjoying Emily Ritz’s song from afar in a theatrical setting. The majority of the visual frame is seen from behind the blurry focus of Lauren Barnes that slowly advances toward Emily playing electric guitar solo, where every glimmering string echoes upward with Ritz’s lyrical recitations of are you the ground tonight?. Lauren’s character approaches Emily while in performance to touch their face as it is revealed that they both have hands painted in blue as the antagonistic character then approaches a shrine in the background to steal a golden idol protected by the blue painted hands portrayed by Rebecca Becker. Ritz delivers live a serpentine-themed song that ponders the ways of life’s takers, users & usurpers where we witness the character of a snake tongued intimate-adversary slowly sliding into the picture to interrupt & steal with little thought apart from selfish gain. Jason Marlow’s cinematography & the overall sparse & mythical setting feels both unsettling & strangely voyeuristic as the sincere music of Emily Ritz offers the sound of some sort of spiritually awakened reckoning with the unruly ways that transpire in the earthly realm (that reaches skyward for a greater enlightened celestial substance). The magical-realism aspects of the song & visual contrast the abrasive & thieving shenanigans with something that feels otherworldly & wonderful—offering the chance & hopes of respite away from the world of quacks & crooks.

Emily Ritz provided the following reflections on the inspirations behind “Snake Tongue” & the accompanying visual:

My song “Snake Tongue” is about feeling weak and impulsive around someone you’re attracted to, even after you realize that they don’t really love or respect you. Someone who tells you you’re so special and valued and then just turns around and says something that makes you feel horrible about yourself. And even though you’ve seen their darkness and you know they’ll abandon you every time, a part of you still wants their love.

The record I’m releasing has fully arranged songs so I wanted to make a live music video to give people an idea of what my shows are like while I’m still performing solo. The director and cinematographer Jason Marlow is an incredible artist and filmmaker who helped with everything from start to finish, even building the set. We wanted the video to be simple yet interesting to watch. To visually incorporate the meaning of the song and the imagery of my album cover. My hands are my favorite part of my body. My art and music are thanks to them. Painting them blue feels like highlighting their beauty and importance. In the video we both have blue hands. There’s this build up to our interaction but it doesn’t end there. They wanted more than just to come over to me and look and touch. They wanted to take something from me. My art comes from my heart and therefore it is my heart, it is me. After they walk away from me I get stuck in this loop and they steal a treasured part of me. It sounds dramatic, I know, but that’s what it feels like to love someone who is just using you.

Luckily I have so much love in my life thanks to my supportive community and friends. We choreographed everything on the spot. Tommy Roesch on the lights, Rebecca Becker as the hands and Lauren Barnes as the thief. The building had no heat so it was about 30 degrees in there. My hands were painted blue but my fingers were actually blue and numb underneath. Everyone was just so positive minded and happy to be making something together. We made this video out of a little material and a lot of love.

Catch Emily Ritz on the following tour dates:

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