Victory Chimes share a tale of love, loss, loneliness and longing in lockdown in their latest single and video The Pelican — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
The second song from the Montreal band’s most recent album Spinning Wheel, the hauntingly powerful and quietly intense track — now illustrated by a bittersweet video depicting one man’s emotional implosion — has never been more relevant. Not bad for a track that was written, recorded and released long before recent events.
“As we get close to finishing a new record, we decided to make a timely video for a song on the past record which never received visual accompaniment,” explains Victory Chimes singer-songwriter and keyboardist Jeff Louch. “The Pelican is the most cinematic song from the album and we decided to make a video about Covid quarantine, love and isolation. The video was directed, shot and edited by Darren Curtis (Boost, Kidnapper Films) and stars actor/director Pat Kiley.”
For director Curtis, the scenario sprang directly from the music — though thankfully, not his own life. “During the last hellish year I was very fortunate to have a wife and young daughter to keep me busy and not go stir crazy during quarantine. Although it was exhausting at times, I did feel truly blessed to have so much love and support around me. At the same time I couldn’t help thinking about all my friends who were on their own with no human contact and how they would be dealing with this new found stress — loneliness to a degree they had never experienced before.
“When Jeff played me the song, it had an aching, longing beauty to it and the story of a young man in isolation desperately seeking companionship immediately sprung to mind. The balance was trying to create real emotion with a funny reveal but not to undermine the feelings the protagonist was experiencing. The actor, Pat Kiely, was able to balance this perfectly — being both charming and sad in equal measures.”
Emotional complexity is nothing new for Louch and Victory Chimes. Spinning Wheel, the band’s 2018 debut full-length, digs deep into dark synth-pop and the hypnosis of electronic show-gaze. These psych-soundscape textures and long-playing experimental song structures combine with Louch’s ethereal voice and lyrical imagery and explore the themes of self-discovery and authenticity. All told, the record is a unique and honest collection of songs maintaining a incomparable sound and presence throughout. Spinning Wheel received exceptional reviews internationally and the band spent most of 2019 touring the music around Canada, performing as a quartet and a duo, with Louch performing own solo as well.
In 2020 Louch was awarded a scholarship to the International Songwriter’s program at the Banff Centre of the Arts, as well as a Quebec Council of Arts Research and Development grant, both of which facilitated the writing of a new Victory Chimes record. The band return to the studio soon with Louch joined by Tony Spina on drums, Alex Formosa on guitars and synths, Jordey Tucker on guitar, Lisa Iwanyki on vocals and James Hall on bass. Louch and Formosa will produce the new album, which is expected in summer.