The latest indie-rock outfit to come out of Melbourne, Australia, Mount Saint Leonard, released a trippy new video for their song "Blame Me," which you need to watch immediately.
The song itself has a very 70s blues-rock vibe, with powerful guitar licks and frontwoman Kathleen Mary Lee's vintage folksy vocals. Her sound captures the best of that very contemporary indie-girl-singer breathiness and an old-fashioned Woodstock warbling that reveals her impressive range and quality of sound. The song already sounds like a groovy, mesmerizing flashback; having been recorded live and treated with minimal post-production, it really does sound as if it came out of an earlier time. Cut with the video, we have something strange and wonderful going on.
The video is made from an animation by Lee's father, Michael Lee, made in the 1970s. Kathleen, coming from a filmmaking background herself, worked with her father to recut the animation to suit this song. And what a fit it is: the aesthetic style of the animation anchors the song's 70s-esque elements, but brings out the darker notes in the song as well. The animation is made of a series of classical images that appear to come from both fine art and pre-1970s advertising, forming and self-destructing in kaleidoscopic fashion. Bodies form and fall apart, women become butterflies, flowers, and different women, landscapes give birth to ancient royals as well as Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary alike. The images are strange, disturbing, and intermittently beautiful, and the way they inform a song about a one-sided romance is fascinating and heartbreaking, giving the love story epic depth as well as the feeling of inherent brokenness and ill fate. It's the kind of thing you can stare at unblinkingly without for a second getting bored.
Mount Saint Leonard is a very new band, formed only this year by Lee and musicians she used to collaborate with in different capacities on her solo work. The heavily vintage overtones of this track, the band's debut, firmly cement their sound as something very different, much simpler and perhaps more genuine than even most other contemporary folk-rock we're hearing today. It's a bold move, and one that shows off the pure performance talents that make up the band. We're curious to hear what comes next for this promising new name.