New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Today, Los-Angeles based experimental post-punk artist CROWJANE (real name: Heather Galipo) is premiering her watercolor-animated video for "Circular Valley" via American Songwriter. "Circular Valley" is the latest video released from her debut album MATER DOLOROSA, which came out in September
via Kitten Robot Records.
Directed by Eric Livingston
(Mr. Bungle, Dead Cross), the video details Atlajala, a spirit who enters a person or an animal's body and feels what they feel. "'Circular Valley' is inspired by a short story written by Paul Bowles," CrowJane tells American Songwriter. "The brief summary of the short story is this: In the Circular Valley lives a spirit, a mute presence, Atlajala. Thirsting for sensation, this spirit enters a moth, a panther, an eel, and feels what they feel - the cool darkness of water, the pleasure of a kill. Centuries old and indifferent to time, it enters man and discovers Obsession for the first time. Yearning to be incarnate as man, it enters priests, soldiers and bandits. When an adulterous couple arrives in the valley, it slips into a woman. Finally, it feels complete. But as it possesses her, she grows restless and extreme and her affair takes a darker, more sinister turn."
"Even in its syncopated chorus 'Connect the dots in the circular valley,' there's a more personal link to the individual that she was in love with at the time, who also introduced Galipo to Bowles' dystopian tale. These mixed emotions, the joys and pains of falling in love, thread through Mater Dolorosa," noted American Songwriter.
The unique animation process for the video was done by Livingston, who CrowJane had collaborated with to bring the story of Atlajala to life. "I asked Eric if he would be into making a music video for this song because I love his artwork and I thought he would be good at telling the story through it," she further explains to American Songwriter.
"I told him what the story is about and how I wanted to try to portray this 'mute character,' Atlajala, morphing into different species that enter into the circular valley. I wanted him to portray the dark side of humans, as well. Eric worked out the details of how to do all that in the pictures he painted. He also is the one that suggested it be in watercolor, which I thought was a great idea some of his art involves harsh lines. Watercolor added a softness that flows along with this song."
Coming from a visual art background of surrealism and horror, CrowJane has built a career as a professional effects makeup artist who has worked on Mulan, The Orville, Ryan Murphy's Hollywood, Civil Twilight, The Clinic, Don Quixote, Toolbox Murders, The Last Of Us: Part II, Star Wars: Fallen Order, and more alongside her music career. This unlikely background helped foster an outsider musical sensibility that is perfectly balanced by an encyclopedic knowledge of the byways and back roads of punk and death rock, both historic and in LA's contemporary underground music scene, of which her bands have been an integral component for the past 10 years.
"I have more music videos coming out for different songs on this album. The visual art has been important to me for this release," concludes CrowJane to American Songwriter. "I have always been a fan of music videos and think they don't get as much attention or appreciation as they did in the past."
Released in September, Mater Dolorosa is an exciting next chapter for this intriguing and beguiling artist. It was produced by Paul Roessler and is out now via Kitten Robot Records.