The pandemic could not stifle the combined creative force of Jack Sobo and Jon Sewitz from Los Angeles band Dummy, or their video director, Alana Champion. Dummy’s creative reach is not genre-bound and recent single “Sighs” is yet another new frontier. Picture this: a bedroom pop band discovers their parents’ old synths and drum machines in the garage under a box of vintage band T-shirts. The result is experimental, yet poppy and melodic enough to differentiate it from a single-listen soundscape experience. Champion’s accompanying music video matches “Sighs” sound for sound. Rather than simply being a supplementary visual, it mimics the listener’s journey.
For what the project may have lacked in budget, it made up in creativity. Champion and the band members have created this Los Angeles-inspired, film noir-esque vignette by calling in favors from friends and soliciting help from a crew of Craigslist actors. The music video follows the nighttime investigations of a frazzled amateur detective who’s made a discovery that, for some reason, only he can see. Champion’s style is heavily influenced by the voyeuristic themes in 1980s thrillers like Brian De Palma’s Body Double and Blow Out. Familiar caricatures and LA scenery only made the project that more enjoyable. Homages to highway pedestrian bridges and bungalow style houses make the film a sort of inside joke to the LA native.
This year’s circumstances created a perfect storm for Champion; most actors were fittingly filmed at a distance and through the windows of their own homes. For Dummy, “Sighs” is just the beginning of their foray into film-scoring. Members Jon Sewitz and Jack Sobo plan to continue the art, further refusing to let any one genre define their sound.
Champion is already in talks with the band on upcoming videos for the music they are planning to release this year. Between Dummy’s confident new-wave style and Champion’s cinematic vision, we have a lot to look forward to.
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