D//E Premiere: Veda Rays: Past Gone // Video

With a foundation which skillfully amalgamates elements from post punk, dreampop and darkwave, New York's Veda Rays have been putting an edge on their sharp sound for a few years now. The band's latest release, last year's Crucial Fictions is the pinnacle of that dark combination, as well as a showcase of their sharpest songwriting to date.

Crucial Fictions is an album full of potential singles, and Past Gone is the fourth video off it; an eloquent, perfectly produced and poignantly delivered dark pop number which finds flawless visual accompaniment in a video conceived by the band's friend and collaborator Danny Barria.

The interior shots were filmed at Barria's practice space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where he came up with the main concept and mood for the video. Due to the pandemic, production was halted for a long time, and the rest of the footage was shot over a year later in Hollywood, California, with the aid of Stella Montoya, also one of the band's friends, whose voice is used in the video's unscripted introduction.

James Stark, the band's own songwriter, producer and vocalist, also the video's director, unfolds: “Vibe touchstones for this song were The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali and the scene in David Lynch's Lost Highway where Bill Pullman's character talks about not liking things to be recorded because he likes to remember them his own way. It is a very personal song for me. Leonard Cohen's Famous Blue Raincoat is in there somewhere, too. Not literally, but vibe-wise, in a not-obvious way

We were really grateful to Danny for coming up with such a perfect atmosphere. Time went by and with all that was happening in the world, it was uncertain if the project would ever be realized. Events conspired in favor when a long-postponed trip to LA finally came to fruition. I knew we could capture the needed additional footage and that there was a good chance it would be enough in line with Danny's original vision that we'd be able to finally pull it all together. Big thanks to Paige Mazzie, who also helped out during the original shoots in Brooklyn, and to Stella Montoya who prompted our trip to LA and helped us out there at The Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood."

Danny Barria comments: “Veda Rays' music conjures feeling (sic) so directly that the idea of memories being changed, distorted or sharpened, through time immediately called to mind images of light refracted through water. It just announced itself, and I was lucky enough to be able to work with James and Maria to make it happen.

Multi-instrumentalist, co-writer and co-producer of Veda Rays, also a music journalist and writer, Maria Joanna Bohemia, describes: "We've visited the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood on previous visits to LA and were always drawn to its poolside bar -- it's one of several vestiges of old Hollywood glamor along the sort of trashy and very touristy Hollywood Walk of Fame. Returning to this spot during the pandemic allowed us to capture the eerie, desolate shots we were hoping for, both poolside and of the hotel's interior. There's something very unsettling being the only people lounging around a pool off-season, and hopefully the shots in Past Gone of steam rising from the pool and opulent, unoccupied hallways capture the air of ghostliness we experienced while filming."

Photo courtesy of Veda Rays

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