New Video: Drab Majesty Shares Lush Meditation on Time “The Skin and The Glove”

Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist Andrew Clinco, also known for his work drumming in Marriages founded Drab Majesty back in 2011 as a way to create music in which he recorded every instrument himself. For the project, Clinco created the androgynous character Deb Demure. Alex Nicolaou, a.k.a. Mona D (keys, vocals) joined the project in 2016. 

Since signing to Dais Records, the Los Angeles-based duo have released three albums, 2015’s Careless, 2017’s The Demonstration, 2019’s Modern Mirror, which saw the project combining androgynous aesthetics and commanding vocals with futuristic and occult lyrics, to create a style and sound that the band’s Demure refers to as “tragic wave.” 

Drab Majesty’s forthcoming EP, An Object in Motion is slated for an August 25, 2023 release through Dais Records. Clocking in at 32 minutes, the release actually sits somewhere between an EP and a mini-album, and the effort reportedly marks a new chapter in the project’s legacy story: Written during a 2021 retreat to the remote costal Oregon town of Yachats, the band’s Deb Demure leaned into the neo-psychedelic resonance of a uniquely bowl-shaped 12-string Ovation acoustic/electric guitar. After early morning hikes in the rain, Demure would record ambient guitar experiments the rest of the day, tapping into “flow states,” in which he would let the sound lead the way. Those sessions were then refined or recreated and then later elevated with contributions from Slowdive‘s Rachel GoswellBeck’s, M83‘s and Air’Justin Meldal-Johnsen, and Uniform’s Ben Greenberg. Fittingly, the EP reportedly holds true to its title, as it captures Demure and Drab Majesty in a transitional state, and evolving while showcasing a series of potential futures from the project. 

Last month, I wrote about An Object in Motion‘s first single “Vanity” featured a very rare guest spot from Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell. Built around shimmering, reverb-drenched 12 string guitar, gated reverb-soaked drum patterns, Demure’s plaintive commanding baritone paired with soaring hooks. Goswell contributes her imitably expressive vocal, which seamlessly intertwines with Demure’s vocal in an uncannily gorgeous harmony. To my ears, sonically, “Vanity” seems like a synthesis of Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne‘s “Close My Eyes Forever,” Sisters of Mercy, Disintegration-era The Cure and Goswell’s work with Slowdive — or in other words, something that will warm the cold hearts of any goth. 

An Object in Motion‘s second and latest single “The Skin and The Glove” is a lush, Smiths-meets-Slowdive/RIDE-like song built around reverb-soaked, shimmering 12 string guitar, a driving groove paired with the Los Angeles-based duo’s uncannily unerring knack for gorgeous harmonies and catchy hooks. But under the lush soundscapes is a song that thematically touches upon the endless march of time, and our inevitable mortality.

Inspired by the song’s lyrics, the accompanying video for “The Skin and The Glove,” was shot primarily on Super 8mm film while the band was on tour, and includes sequences in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Switzerland, France, Italy, Hungary, Mexico, Vancouver, and Tasmania. Digital video footage was shot in Los Angeles. The duo decided that film was the medium that most accurately reflects the way that memories seem sewn together by fragments of imagery.

The video’s flashing moments in time that seem naturally edited seem naturally edited in some part by simply moving through moments, holding down the trigger and choosing to remember certain aspects of a day, a trip or an extended period of travel. Throughout, there’s the attempt to compress a long passage of time and the effort that goes into playing and touring in a band and to present it as the mind does; a tapestry of reflection and memory that seems stitched together randomly. And with that sort of ephemeral granularity, the potential to misremember — and to mythologize.