CHRIS VELAN REVEALS NEW ANIMATED VIDEO FOR “UN-AMERICAN GOTHIC”
MONTREAL SONGWRITER’S HOWARD BILERMAN-PRODUCED ALBUM GLOW OUT NOW VIA NEWSONG RECORDINGS
CANADIAN TOUR DATES CONTINUE APRIL 6
Chris Velan’s latest single, “un-American Gothic”, has spent the last few weeks climbing both CBC’s Radio 2 Top 20 chart and Radio 3’s R3-30. As a thank-you for the support, the Montreal songwriter and producer is pleased to reveal the new video for the single, just as he prepares to hit the road for a string of tour dates. Animated by Sinbad Richardson through his animation house, Vienna Pitts, with additional landscape illustration by Valerie Boxer, the video takes the viewer through Velan’s post-apocalyptic countryside.
“The vision for ‘un-American Gothic’ was to have Chris go on a road trip with two companions across a landscape of fallen empires,” claims Richardson. “The idea came from early conversations we had about the song and I evolved it in different ways, adding the imagery of ancient ruins and abandoned cities, and referencing the home financing crisis, global warming, and the hollow promise of social networking and connectivity. The visuals relate to the cyclical paths of relationships and the search to find meaning through it all. His two friends each represent sides of a traveler's moods; the excitement of seeing the world and the trepidation of the dauntingly long stretches of road ahead.”
“I came across Sinbad’s work through the videos he did for The Dears and Young Galaxy,” says Velan. “I was looking for someone to do an animated concept for ‘un-American’ and felt right away that his strongly irreverent and whimsical style would be a great fit for the song’s ambitious narrative. In the end, he took it to this beautifully surreal place that I never could have even imagined.”
Out now on NewSong Recordings, Glow was co-produced with Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Basia Bulat, Wolf Parade, Vic Chestnutt). Also joining Velan in studio to record his sixth LP was an all-star band of Montreal musicians; Jamie Thompson (Islands, The Unicorns) sitting at the drums, Morgan Moore (Barr Brothers, Blood and Glass) on bass, Max Henry (Suuns) playing keys, with Ariel Engle (AroarA) and Ngabo Kiroko (Dear Denizen) providing backup vocals.
The songs on Glow want to pull back the curtain and let the light in. They’re about taking that long, unflinching look in the mirror, shattering mythologies, both personal and collective, and naming the lies that keep us caged. Whether refusing the clean-up job of a prophet in “Listen, Elijah”, or invoking grace in “Call Me Into Your Heart”, Velan’s latest collection of songs seems intent on finding joy at the end of the world - where no matter how frightening the outcome, the end is never the end, just a great new beginning.
It’s a path of inquiry that began for Velan on his previous album, The Long Goodbye, a raw and confessional reckoning with the break-up of a long-term relationship. While echoes of that ache remain in his latest release, Velan’s writing now looks forward with a faith in the blossoming power of love, connection, and the other intangibles that sustain life and will.