Comprised of Misty Mary (vocals, keys), Steve Nistor (drums and keys) and Michael Yun (keys and guitar), the Portland, OR-based experimental rock act WL have developed a reputation for a relentless shape-shifting and exploratory approach through the release of the “Impermanent”/”No Escape” 7 inch and their critically applauded full-length debut Hold, which expanded upon the plaintive and yearning sound developed on their 7 inch — but with material that consisting of fraying, distorted guitar chords, thunderous driving rhythms and Misty Mary’s ethereal vocals floating over a droning mix that has made their sound seem moodily oceanic.
“Feeling Down” the latest single off the Portland-based trio’s forthcoming sophomore effort Light Years is a trippy yet strangely funky song that pairs layers of cascading and droning keys, four-on-the-floor drumming, Misty Mary’s ethereal and aching vocals singing a repetitive, mantra-like refrain with blasts of saxophone to create a song that’s moody and feels as though it evokes the enveloping and overwhelming fog that depression can feel like.
Interestingly, the single along with Light Years‘ material was meant to be written for a live performance alongside animation from the French surrealist cartoonist Rene Laloux and in fact, after the material was recorded and finished, the band felt that the music’s original relationship to a visual presentation added a critical dimension to the work. So the members of the band reached out to a series of local artists and began a two year long collaboration which has resulted in a companion visual album, in which each single’s video was produced using methods highlighting the distinct character of each song; in fact you’d see stereoscopic photography, 16mm film, stop motion animation, digital collage, slow motion film, dance and 3D point cloud scanning techniques being employed at various points.
Directed by Zach Erickson and featuring art by Souther Salazer, the video for “Feeling Down” featuring a black and white, newspaper cut out of the band’s Misty Mary moving in and out of focus, superimposed over an oceanic blue background in which concentric, psychedelic shapes appear both in the background and eventually overtake her and everything around her. Certainly, the video is as equally trippy as the song while evoking a sense of being overwhelmed — by everything.