ABOVE: ROBYN PHILLIPS. PHOTO COURTESY OF SHELBY FENLON.
Vallens frontwoman Robyn Phillips named her band after Dorothy Vallens, the tragic club singer in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, who was immortalized on screen by Isabella Rosellini. The Lynchian influence returns full force in the Toronto-based ensemble’s new music video for “Devour,” off of their debut album Consent (Hand Drawn Dracula).
In the video, which we’re pleased to premiere below, a glamorous older woman—who alternates outfits throughout, notably donning silk gloves and a sequined dress while waving a fan—poses for the camera in what seems like a twisted boudoir photo shoot. At times, the scene cuts to home videos of a dance performance, which come from director Benjamin Portas’ family collection of home videos. The combined result is a troubling meditation on identity.
“There was a lot of thought on if the video would seem like parody of beauty, but we hoped that it can be viewed as a different expression of beauty,” Phillips tells us. “Not just about age, but with the concept of the performance anxiety of just being.”
Despite the gentle shoegaze soundtrack, the video turns genuinely creepy when a mask is seen reflected in a makeup mirror, and the woman’s face begins to melt. As Phillips explains, “[The mask] illuminated the idea of performance as a person, of oneself, and of gender in an internalized way, and [of] the fatigue of having to constantly be performing in different degrees in the everyday.”
VALLENS ARE CURRENTLY ON TOUR. FOR MORE ON THE BAND, VISIT THEIR FACEBOOK.