Australian, Naarm / Melbourne based ‘bleak, smoky, dehydrated bad-dream pop’ duo Amanda Roff & Tom Carlyon AKA Time For Dreams drop a conceptual video by bio-chemical art director Lichen Kelp, who “makes lurid liquid landscapes with plant matter, ice, water, and domestic chemical ingredients that investigate the materiality of process” for their slow and seductive track “Death to All Actors.”, the third single from Time for Dreams upcoming sophomore album “Life of the Inhabitant” via fellow independent label it records, a pandemic themed song about rituals, the fear of death and plagues.
“Death to All Actors” reflects on the shift of actors’ societal status historically, Roff explains,
“Does anyone really trust actors? Society seems to idolize them now, but there was a time they couldn’t even be buried in consecrated ground. Traveling groups of actors were suspected super-spreaders of the plague from city to city.”
Soulful humming organic textures weave thick, sludgy bass tones with an array of minimal thumps, light tinny cymbals, and disruptive, three-dimensional slams to sway the narcotic atmosphere of subconscious desires around dreamy, seductive female vocals, releasing intoxicating breathless intentions floating and echoing into mesmeric moods of wishful illusions, while high airy synth strains and sparse abrasive guitar slivers cut through the misty haze of deception with glaring agitation and doom.
DTAA is situated lyrically in the heightened materiality of life when death is looming, a song written before covid but with a strong plague theme – disease, corruption of flesh and bacteria, in contrast to the idea of the clean and clear spirit world beyond this realm. Real dirt, ash, shit, cracked and calloused hands working on splintered oars, insect bites, sores, fever, contagion, decomposition, bodily fluids, poison, and fungus, all these things I imagine being considered fondly when one is leaving the world.
Lichen’s practice creates a performative time period of lush visual decay, where soft living plants saturate and disintegrate in technicolor detail. Filming the processes closely allowed us to revel in the tiny details of bubbles bursting, ice melting, life wilting, emphasizing the protean vigor of the materials. Lichen made several floating, floral paintings, which were filmed by Thomas Hyland in close-up, while the chemical processes flowed and festered. Lichen conducted the movements of various plants within the landscapes to create an erotic choreography of transition.
A stunning shift of matter creates abstract textures and vibrant colors from organic elements during the harmonious transposition of energy that occurs through decay, death, and rebirth. Strategic editing blends PIP, split-screen, and time-lapse techniques into an elegant dance of alchemy to draw a hypnotic flow of mind-expanding horizons from Nature’s selfless exchange of power.
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