Sungaze: Storm Chaser

With a nostalgic approach to both their concept and sound, Cincinnati-based band, Sungaze, release new single and video, Storm Chaser, ahead of their upcoming album, This Dream, expected out on August 13th, 2021. 

The new song showcases the warm shoegaze pop qualities of Sungaze's sound, together with their proclivity toward a traditional folk/Americana direction, and solid psychedelic rock undertones. 

Songwriter, Ivory Snow, details the song's conception: "Storm Chaser didn’t end up the way I had expected it to when I first had the inspiration to write it. What was originally meant to be a fun, lighthearted song sung from the perspective of an alternate-reality version of myself, turned out to be more of a calling-myself-out tool for self reflection and growth. I didn’t realize I was talking about myself when the lyrics first came through last April, and it’s only been through working to heal some of my patterns of codependency, self-sabotage and escapism that I’ve realized it."

The music's evident wistfulness pairs to perfection with the very well crafted video which is grounded in Ivory's childhood, and was further sparked off by a dream. "When we initially met up with our videographer, Brianna Kelly, the only notes I had for her were, 'lots of slow motion shots and billowy fabric'," Ivory says, as together with her creative partner, Ian Hilvert, brought the project to existence in two days, only those were exactly one year apart from each other. The field they were using was planted with soybeans, and Sungaze were forced to put their project on hold, eventually using the time to elaborate and build on their original idea. 

"About a week after realizing we would be waiting until 2021 to resume filming, I had a dream in which I saw the corner of a room set up in the middle of a field," Ivory Snow continues. "I couldn’t get the imagery out of my head and decided to incorporate it into the video. Ian and I built the set ourselves and I chose to model it after the kitchen of my aunt’s old home, where I spent a large portion of my childhood. The top and bottom photo in the line of three on the wall behind me were both taken at her house—the bottom photo was taken in her kitchen, and the top was taken in the living room, during a weekly Friday movie night / sleepover I often had with my two cousins. I chose that photo specifically because I’m pretty sure we were watching the movie Twister, which they all loved but I was terrified of. I had a huge fear of storms and tornadoes as a kid and during the springtime, my ears were always perked up, hyper-attuned for the sound of sirens. As I got older, my fear turned into a funny sort of fascination with the destructive nature and power of severe weather; an odd sort of dangerous beauty. I realized somewhat recently that in a way, that kind of mirrored my emotional/mental state; for a long time it felt much safer to be constantly focused on the upsetting things happening in the world and to others around me, than to have things be peaceful and calm, because it’s in the quiet moments that the things we’ve pushed down tend to resurface."

Ultimately, Storm Chaser is about escapism, seen through a filter of reminiscence and alienation. Ivory concludes: "I’ve found that when things seem hard, it’s often because on some level I’m choosing to make them so, hence the blindfolding scene. I wanted the video to loosely illustrate the process of becoming aware of the things we do to hold ourselves back in life, and to show that when we let go and embrace the storm, we can actually find quite a lot of beauty in it."

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