René Kladzyk, the artist, dancer, and journalist, will release True Romantic, her new album as Ziemba, on September 25. The record marks something of a change for Kladzyk, who usually treats her music as one part of a multi-disciplinary project — creating "worlds incorporating architectural influences, theatre performances, set design, aesthetic framings and color theories," as Liz Pelly writes in her notes for the album. This time around, Kladzyk is focused only on the electrifying pop and smart balladry of her songs, the only visual embellishments being some beautiful album artwork from Robert Beatty and a handful of videos.
The latest of those is for "Harbor Me," premiering below. The song itself is one of the tensest on True Romantic: taught guitars teetering on atonality, an unrelenting drum line, a dramatic distance between Kladzyk's voice and the mix. The video, directed by Stephanie Hinojosa, has dancer Pablo Delgadillo-Espinoza and Kladzyk herself running through the streets of her hometown, El Paso, in the dead of night, perfectly choreographed. Watch it at the foot of the page.
"I wrote 'Harbor Me' while docked on the S.S. Vallejo, a haunted ferry in Sausalito, CA, where Timothy Leary, Alan Watts, and Allen Ginsberg used to host their 'Houseboat Summit,'" Kladzyk explained in an email to The FADER. "The boat had a big influence on the song, which was written all at once, lyrics and all. Typically when I write a song I will first demo it out with placeholder lyrics and very rough instrumentation. But with this song, much of what you are hearing are those initial demo recordings. Vocals and nearly all synths were recorded on the boat, that first day that I wrote it."
"This song took me by surprise, it has an energy to it that I don't entirely understand, and it doesn't fully feel like it came from me," she continued. "I guess that's why I feel tempted to credit the boat itself as a co-author. I wanted the music video to have that same immediacy and visceral presence that the song has, and so a small crew and I shot a single-take dance video in downtown El Paso at night, just a couple blocks from the border crossing into Ciudad Juárez. It was exciting and fun and a little scary at times, dancing through the streets at night -- we rehearsed over the course of two evenings until we got it right. I think "exciting, fun, a little scary" is how I'd hope this song be described, or at least is how I perceive it, so the video is fitting."
True Romantic is due out September 25 via Sister Polygon.