Electronic duo Delmer Darion have spent five years putting together their debut album, Morning Pageants. It's a hyper-literary account of the devil's death, detailed and engrossing but airy and inviting enough to draw in listeners who haven't been waiting four centuries for an experimental ambient follow-up to Paradise Lost. The concept was, they write on Bandcamp (where you can pre-order the album in advance of its release on October 16 via Practise Music) inspired by a line from Wallace Stevens's poem "Esthétique du Mal." But the allusions and storyboarding aren't what took them half a decade to get the album ready. Preferring to work from samples, which can be a nightmare to clear before a release, Oliver Jack and Tom Lenton instead recorded two albums' worth of material that they could then cut and mutate.
If this sounds almost obsessive, the video for new single "Television," premiering below, will only further that narrative. It's an inviting song on its face, though it's naturally uneasy — appropriate for a single that was inspired by the concept of cartoons drawing kids to Hell. And the video is every bit as painstakingly, beautifully detailed as the album itself.
"'Television' exists in 1980s America amidst a satanic moral panic," Jack, who directed the video and works as an AI architect, wrote in a statement. "It plays on the belief, found in Pastor Gary Greenwald’s Deception of a Generation, that Saturday-morning cartoons like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe were turning children to Satan and the occult. The song has a strong sense of place: the lyrics describe blue light from a He-Man sequence being cast from the cathode rays of an old television to a bowl of Lucky Charms. And so, we were keen to create the song’s entire environment with a video."
"We started by researching typical 1980s American decor and eventually found a few references we liked," he continued. "We considered finding a real space and filming the video, but quickly realized that only 3D modeling would afford us the freedom we needed — to create carved markings in the wood, to precisely position stains on the carpet, and to tightly control the external and internal light sources, for example. Once we had the skeleton of the room created, we populated it with furniture, ornaments and texture variations. In the process, we hid dozens of little allusions — to the universe of the song itself, to other songs on the album and the stories they’re based on, and to album’s universe in general."
Check out the video for "Television" below.