On May 9, Bec Plexus threw a 24-hour party, via livestream, to honor the release of her newest album, STICKLIP, in which she created 10 psychedelic music videos to accompany the songs on the record. The videos mimic the live performances she had prepared prior to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Road to Sound is premiering each of these videos over the next ten weeks. This is the fifth article in our series. You can catch up on the whole series here.
The fifth installation of Bec Plexus’ video release spree is vocalist and composer Arone Dyer’s “waist high,” a previously-composed demo that finally found a home inside of Plexus’ world of eclectic and quirky avant-pop. Dyer is known for her experimentation with instrument building and nontraditional, experimental pop forms in groups like the duo Buke and Gase. For Plexus, she writes a characteristically intricate and hypnotic song that dives into the push and pull between religion and science. The music is glitchy and funky, a jam session that effortlessly rolls along as the singers dive into entangled questions.
In Plexus’ words:
‘“waist high’ is a song by Arone Dyer. She actually had this song performed before already — she wrote it for a different project, so she had this demo already on the shelf. But, it had never really seen the light, it never had really found a permanent place to live. She gave me an Ableton session, a demo, of a couple of layers and her voice is also in it. For the record, I left her voice in and made it a duet that we sing together. The arrangement is, in some ways, close to her demo, but it’s way more constructed and chopped up. That’s also how we tried to do it in the live show and in the video. The song has a flow to it; there’s always some element that changes and it’s putting you off a little bit.
The song is about the ever-interesting friction between religion and science. It’s singing to this person: ‘waist high / knee deep / I know you base your beliefs by the book / ‘til it burns and you release your grip.’ It’s singing to this person that’s just trying to hold on to religion, but then it doesn’t give all that’s needed and burns in their hands. ‘You’ll need a sign / you’ll need a sign’ is then later in the song.
The video artist that we collaborated with on this video, Mees Joachim, took the religious part of it and decided to build a shrine. It’s this collection of golden things, but if you look closer they’re all these unexpected objects and they’re filmed from all sorts of angles and turning around, which looks really cool. The monologue really fed into this narrative: the main character says that they speak with their brother who’s a doctor and ask, ‘is there such a thing as an answer to all things?’ And he answers that he doesn’t know. It’s this idea that we’re all searching, that sentiment. Both sides don’t really know.”
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