It was love at first listen when Brooklyn's Relations gave us an early listen to "Goodbyes", and now we're believing with the video for "Believer", from Keefe Murren. On this Relations visualization, "Believers" gathers the trio to perform in home spaces with their images saturated by an array of filters and lights. Murren's video beat matches the mechanical rhythm to the dotted, multi-colored flashes sourced from stage and city illuminants. As the three piece of Matt, Mike and Terence ready their album Songbirds for release April 5 from 100m Records, they give us a video dedicated to only the most fervent at heart.
Guitars lead you into the color washed metropolises by bridge, and to the density of streets lorded over by towering skyscrapers. With Keefe making a throwback video as if 2014 was the new 1995, Relations send today's contemporary customs and belief systems of the modern day ritual back in time. The color palette paints the screen in green, blue, and red, with lit signs displayed close-up. This is then mixed up with footage that bounces off the screen to the urban hymn of no-sleep zealots, and odes to those true "Believers". The road driving motion turns in time to the stern guitar and drum engine, that fixes the edicts and song compositional orders firmly in their proper place.
We had the pleasure to get a conversation round going with Relations' Matthew Chokshi, Michael Sanders, and Terence Murren, covering the new album Songbirds, the video, upcoming performances, and more.
Tell us about working with Keefe Murren for that light dazzling video.
Matt: We're lucky enough to have an incredibly talented group of friends who are helping us make a bunch of videos for the album. We always wanted to work with Keefe. He's brothers with Terence and I've lived with him. As the visual guy in the band, its always interesting for me to see other people's interpretations of our songs and us. He's a documentary film guy and we were attempting to get him to do something outside his realm. We just sort of set up shop one afternoon with a bunch of cocktails, candles and cruised around Brooklyn. Keefe started thinking about what we'd do if we shot a music video back in 1995. I think he nailed it with all the lights. It's difficult to find meaning and connections often in a place like New York. It gives the song a Fox Mulder vibe which I think we all appreciate.
What were some of the breakthroughs and challenges of composing and writing for Songbirds?
Mike: When we added Matt to the band he really helped the beat programming and overall vibe. We had about eight songs done when we booked time with Josh Ascalon at Rad Studios. With about three weeks to go, it was quite the motivator to just bang out the last three… a song a week! What's challenging now is setting up for shows with three keyboards, two guitars, a MPC and a bass.. and just the three of us.
Spring and summer plans?
Mike: Our album is out April first, so we have April 4 at Shea Stadium for the release party. Then a Wednesday residency at Pianos in May. We are planning a Left and Right coast run for May/June.
Latest Brooklyn reports from the scenes?
Mike: This winter has driven everyone bat-shit crazy.
Terence: Nothing beats loading in our gear in the snow.
Favorite local acts as of late?
Matt: We have a band crush on The Can't Tells. We've played shows with them and they put on a great live set.
Mike: I pretty much just listen to Slayer.
Relations' upcoming album Songbirds will be available April 5 from 100m Records.
Catch Relations playing Brooklyn's Glasslands tomorrow, February 26, with Joycut and Teeel.