From the opening moments of Letters to a Young Ghost’s debut video, it’s clear that things are about to get a little ominous and a lot weird. Waves ebb and flow to a pulsating synth riff as a figure in a Trump mask slowly makes her way to the shore. The storm looming couldn’t be more fitting for the video of the darkly prescient song “Paterotica,” which we’re premiering on the eve of the bleakest election day in recent memory.
Glitch art consisting of Trump’s tweets and “fake news” headlines consume the body of a masked dancer as the brooding electronic music of Sarah Fuller (formerly of See Gulls) and Robin Vuchnich unfurls. “Paterotica” plays off of the president’s cult-like following with themes of bloodlust, instability, and false messiahs.
Filmed in reverse, this embodiment of Trump rises slowly and staggers to the shore like a sea creature in time with the track’s skittering rhythms. There’s a compelling dichotomy of angular, fuzzed-out synth stabs and the occasional frenetic high-end riff that helps open up the mix for Vuchnich’s vocals.
As the song progresses and Vuchnich lays out the somber reality of a depraved leader and his violent electorate, we see this dancing figure being slowly sucked into the ocean. “I’m not the savior you’ve been waiting for,” Vuchnich repeats in the song’s final refrain, a haunting message to accompany the visual of a hand reaching up desperately from the ocean, followed by the mask floating slowly to shore.
“Paterotica” is the first single from Letters to a Young Ghost’s forthcoming EP as a tumultuous year continues to unravel. Fingers crossed that we at least won’t have to worry about dystopian sea creatures.
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