For a little over a decade, Mice Parade have played a polyglot of post-rock, indie rock and even Latin rock, often to quixotic effect. Their latest video, for the song “This River Has a Tide,” off their latest LP Candela, seems custom-made to heighten the mystery. For starters, when asked about the song, frontman Adam Pierce says it’s simply about, “the Hudson River and a breakup.” But the video is a herky-jerky stop-motion art experiment, featuring a woman wearing a goat mask in various dark and color-saturated scenes, and it seems to have nothing to do with the song. Moreover, Pierce didn’t give director Paul Yates any input on the video.
“The concept obviously came from the song,” Yates says. “When I first hear a song I can’t figure out all of the words I don’t understand where it’s going emotionally, and that really excites me. I try to use those impressions in my film.” Of his choice to cast a woman to evoke the meaning of the song, he says, “The music was ethereal, beautiful, delicately played and had interweaving streams of emotion — so I felt it need a feminine protagonist — but one from another realm. The title ‘This River Has a Tide’ is literally and metaphorically about subtext and undercurrent and water, which also fit my Woman From Another Realm’s journey.”
The setting for the video is Los Angeles, which posed somewhat of a problem for Yates since, other than its ocean border, it’s largely waterless. To achieve the clip’s “liquid feel,” he had to shoot by the Los Angeles River, “which is really beautiful,” he says, “but full of dead animals, needles, and a small homeless population that one tries not to disturb.” And while that may sound difficult to maneuver, it wasn’t the hardest aspect of making the video; that honor goes to the long-exposure night and daytime shots. “Each frame of that work took about 30 seconds to shoot, so for approximately one second of footage it would take about 12 minutes,” explains. “The actress was able to move very little the whole night … She was freezing!”
Candela is out January 28 via Fatcat Records.