OUR MONTHLY FEATURE PIECE
Making Friends With The Black Dog and organic self-birthed surprises.
Once upon a time an Indie Music Kween met an Animator and they made a music video. The End.
... Or, not quite.
The Indie Kween in mention is Queensland Music Award winner Leanne Tennant and the Animator is Melbourne's own pencil for hire, Annie Murray. The single 'Record Stores' needed a music video and had a deadline that would make any animator's head spin. And so began the journey to create an affecting and effective animated music video which could stand alone and meld perfectly with the soon to be released single.
As any good animator will tell you - time available is a key factor when deciding method and style to create a piece. Due to the looming premier deadline of the single, time was of the essence. And so, it was firstly decided to create a black and white aesthetic; to use colour as part of the narrative, rather than as a standard. A twist in terms of character reveal is made towards towards the crux of the clip and challenges the viewer to consider what they assumed would be the a given, as the music surges and before the clip comes to life in full colour with the lyrics 'And I feel it in my skin'....
This was an organic visual realisation that gave birth to itself and speaking of this 'happy mistake', Animator Annie Murray says ''I didn't know that was going to happen until it did. It was not planned. I followed the 'feeling' of the piece and this added layer came as a surprise to me as I was colouring the piece towards the climax of the song/video. As an artist I often follow 'feelings' rather than plans' She adds in good humour ''It makes me both a joy and a terror to work with'
At a run time of 3:43 the clip was created using a combination of short scripting, a rough storyboard/animatic and a beast of a month animating the approved final content. Annie is now seeking recovery from an acute but non-fatal coffee addiction.
At the heart of the visual narrative lies a story of loss and grief that goes hand in hand with hope and acceptance. Underlying themes of animal urges intertwined with a reluctance to change until pushed flow just beneath the surface. The human in us refuses to change. But the animal must follow the ebs and flow of life. And sometimes that means the death and rebirth of things we hold dear. And finding a balance between the human and animal within us.
Speaking on the themes that drive the soulful and soaring timbre of the vocals and music, Leanne Tennant unearths a truth to the human soul ’Record Stores’ is about the power of music and how it has the ability to change someones mindset, and make friends with the black dog. We play it at our weddings, we play it at our funerals and it’s the soundtrack to nearly every important milestone in our lives'' She makes a poignant final comment 'Music is necessary and important... I had no idea that it would continue to bring me so much light and joy through such a difficult time. It has been a labour of love and survival, and I so am excited to share it with the world.”
Both musicians and animators alike, at heart, are story tellers and shiners of light on our collective soul. Music/visual responses are a wonderful thing. More so when they are organic and natural. Record Stores encapsulates the very best of this energy.
Publishing giant MEDIUM have premiered the video and Single and you can read more about Leanne's work in a short article on the same page.
The full animated music video is also now available below.