The Native Cats – “Sanremo”

A short while back I shared the a-side to Tasmanian band The Native Cats’ new single for Rough Skies and now the band has sent over a new video for the flip. Not as bracing as the front side, but no less affecting, “Sanremo” is a gauzy creeper doused in post-punk and just a touch of shoegaze haze. The song buzzes with an incessant energy like raw nerves being slowly dulled by their surroundings. The video is equally narcotic, with singer Chloe Alison Escott being dragged towards a body of water like some sort of baptismal captive, shrouded in a veneer of pinks and purples. She gives a little insight into the clip below.

“The ‘Sanremo’ video was inspired by the third season of Twin Peaks, and by three music videos from the early 2000s in which the singer of a band is kidnapped. I was in my late teens and receptive to new ideas about singers in peril. I first met [director] Izzy Almaz when I needed a collaborator for the ‘Nixon Nevada’ video in 2018. She’d never made a music video before but was eager to give it a shot, and as it turned out she was a perfect fit. We teamed up again for ‘Sanremo’ and it was so exciting to see her apply her skills and intuition to this eerie art piece the same way she did for our cheery ’round-town muckabout two years ago. Our only equipment was Izzy’s phone (with a gimbal to keep it steady, and a wide lens for the horizontal pan near the end) and a Bluetooth speaker to play the song. The whole thing took us three afternoons: one to find the right beach and experimenting with light and distance, one to shoot, one to edit. We’re a unit now, expect more from us.

My co-stars here are our very dear friends Claire Johnston and Lucinda Shannon, from the band Slag Queens, one of the very best around. I am a messy bitch who lives for local music scene mythology developed via surreal meta-narratives, so casting Claire and Lucy to play the roles they do here (I specifically told them to wear what they would wear for a Slag Queens show) was the obvious choice. Julian’s in it too, for a moment, also appearing “as himself”. There is a story unfolding in this clip. I hope your interpretation of it is even more complicated than mine is.” The single is out now on Rough Skies. A recommended pickup!

The band’s got a couple of dates on the way as well.
– March 13 at The Golden Wattle, Adelaide with Armitage Shanks and Dom & The Wizards.
– March 14 at the Toff In The Town, Melbourne with Ausmuteants & Thibault
– March 22 at the Brisbane Hotel, Hobart with Scraps (arvo show)

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