Miriam Clancy’s new video delves into love hate relationship with tech
Thursday 17 November 2022
"Head Like A Hole" is the second single off Miriam's forthcoming LP Black Heart.
Head Like a Hole is a lilting, listing 90s throwback track depicting a love/hate relationship with technology and its blurred lines in our everyday interaction focusing on our co-dependency with the internet, its knobby fingers needling into all aspects of our lives: the good news, bad news, validation, cancelling, discrimination and faux-friending.
Miriam says, "How can we hate this? The great library in the sky! But it's so good though! We are entranced yet anxious targets zooming around the internet and it's beautiful and connected, addictive and thrilling! I love it, can't look away. At the same time, it's a great vacuum of space that our cyber-dimensional lives are making in our minds, constantly claiming more real estate till we have no room left to recalibrate and regulate - only react."
Filmed by Winger Brothers, and edited by Miriam Clancy, the video for Head Like A Hole drew on inspiration from old Split Enz videos, Miriam's favourite - Donnie Darko, and David Lynch's Lady In The Radiator, with a little Logan's Run thrown in for good measure. It's a personal video, the footage real, the themes universal - the internet is taking over, to the extent where Miriam feels at one with the machine.
The lightning was filmed from Miriam's tiny balcony, downtown. The skating scenes are a metaphor for the great unplug, filmed on the back streets of Kutztown, Pennsylvania where Keith Haring came from, where roads are wild with cracks and old tarseal. "We would have looked bonkers, but it was one of my fave ever video shoots - Skateboarding isn't work, it's alive and awesome. Ride or die! Unless I break my guitar hand, then I'm burning that thing."
Miriam grew up on sci-fi and horror shows. The song and video together fall somewhere in the middle, but she loved the set design and "futurist" couture of Logan's Run with its dark narrative, a death cult in which no-one lives past their third decade. Miriam wears Karen Walker and Logan's Run chic in the video for "Head Like A Hole".
Born in New Zealand into a family of musicians, writing her first song at age 9 and fronting bands by age 17 Miriam was caught between the shadow of DIY local post-punk and imported American pop but ended up being mentored by old-school established Māori musicians who were rich in R&B, Motown soul and heavy in show business professionalism. With them she learned to sing for a diverse range of crowds in the often wild pubs of New Zealand.
From there Miriam moved into full-time session work, taking her from clubs in Wellington & Auckland to Southeast Asia before swapping the security of the pro vocalist life to become an indie artist, performing on her own terms. She began to deconstruct her approach to music and follow the thread of melodies that had begun welling up while she was alone in her room, and at 21 Miriam started again, just herself and a guitar, in dive bars singing the songs she couldn't help but write.
After passing on a local record deal Miriam headed to Los Angeles, where a 2005 season led to the NZ release of her debut album Lucky One. It, along with sophomore album Magnetic, was met with critical acclaim and a stack of five star and best of year reviews as she headlined national tours and toured in support of Wilco, Ron Sexsmith and Mark Lanegan. She signed to Mushroom Group’s publishing wing and was declared “A Voice to Move Mountains” garnering APRA Silver Scroll songwriting and NZ Music Award nominations as a solid underground following. Shifting camp from Aotearoa to New York City brought forth her first US release, 2019's Astronomy, crafted over a couple of years between Great Barrier Island and New York City, with producer Chris Coady at the helm.
Fleeing from the hustle of NYC to the solace in the valley of Pennsylvania’s Appalachian mountains brought about a burst of life, and when UK production on a new project with producer Mike Hedges was delayed by the pandemic, Miriam came up for air closer to home and fell into a perfect working match with musician and producer Jeremy McDonald in Brooklyn’s Mason Jar Studio. Pulling in talented friends Will Graefe and Mike Riddleberger, the four created a delicate rock circle that swells and disappears around Miriam's voice, along with additional drums and vocals by Sean Mullins and Welcome Wagons’ Vito Aiuto. In Miriam’s own words, "This is the most naturally occurring and quickest album I have made - everything felt right."
Miriam Clancy's new album Black Heart is out Friday 20th January 2023.