Exclusive Video Premiere: ‘Bows & Arrows,’ Canon Blue

Published October 3, 2011

 

The experimental-folk outfit Canon Blue, helmed by songwriter-composer Daniel James, has produced a small-scale theatrical event to accompany “Bows and Arrows,” from their album Rumspringa. The album is the joint effort of James and most of northern Europeâ??namely, Danish orchestral ensemble Efterklang and Amiina, the Icelandic string quartet best known for their work with ambient darlings Sigur Rós.

Experimental music tends to reach for the future, while folk hearkens towards the past. True to form, find duality at its finest in Interview’s exclusive video premiere of “Bows and Arrows,” the first single off Canon Blue’s sophomore effort. In the video, a bright white backdrop competes with  dark figures, creating a kind of aesthetically pleasing Rorschach test with a stunning soundtrack.

Futuristic tribal dancers (another oxymoron) occupy the hyper-real world created by director David Ogle. Even the cameraman relinquishes ethnocentrism, and everyone but James wears black-and-white face paint and a trash bag-like ensemble. The minions tenderly prepare a modestly dressed James with face paint. As the strings build, the stakes feel high.

James appears to brace for some kind of transformation as he meets the video’s heroine, around whom the others revolve and who James approaches on deferential bended knee. A deluge of arrows brings the exalted matriarch peacefully to her knees as the shadowy figures scurry back towards James, who appears unmoved and impenetrable. The woman bleeds a black, viscous liquid, while punctured dancers stand behind a newly enthroned Jamesâ??who, it’s clear, has gone through a rite of passage. We wish our Bat Mitzvah was that cool.

RUMSPRINGA IS OUT NOW. CANON BLUE WILL TOUR NORTH AMERICA THROUGHOUT OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER, INCLUDING A DATE AT WEBSTER HALL ON NOVEMBER 18. FOR MORE ON THE BAND, VISIT THEIR WEBSITE.