Tapping into the stylistic vein of beloved entities like Lush, Slowdive and on the more ethereal side, Cocteau Twins, Bay Area collective Pure Hex has established themselves as a shining star in the universe of shoegaze. The band's brilliant 2022 full length, Still Dark, was a songwriting achievement - showcasing a unit operating with with a strong sense of creative congruence from the very start.
The symmetry of Zach Dighans, Hussain Khan, Jon Annunziato, Luke Clingerman and vocalist Marta Alvarez results in a stirring 8-track presentation that is both assertive in its artistry and delicate in its execution - no small feat for a band still relatively new. The dreamy compositions and soaring song structures are punctuated by Alvarez's otherworldy stanzas - making for a purely emotive listening experience.
The finale from the band's 2022 presentation serves well in reiterating their vivid brand of musical finesse. The closer, "Sleep" frames the kind of emotional breadth that anchors such poignant arrangements - again showcasing all of the individual components that make Pure Hex, purely hypnotic.
The band explained how therapy and expression worked in tandem for the final track on the album. "'Sleep' was written after the death of a close friend, and it’s built from weird thoughts that accompany grief. We wanted to make a video for this song for a while because it’s meaningful to all of us, but weren’t sure how to represent the subject in an authentic way. It felt like trying to be literal could come out skewed or cheesy—how do you accurately portray an absence of a loved one?"
The band further explain how their latest visual offers more latitude in conveying the impetus of the song. "Our film team helped us craft a tale that frames loss in another light. The music video tells the story of a friendship gone off the rails, and then gone altogether. In this version, grief does indeed become literal. Saturated color and spectral shapes paint a haunted picture of sadness, regret, and ghostly memories of a love lost."
Entrusting director Jack Boston and the cinematography of Michael Enos, the 16mm presentation is as stunning visually the as the single is sonically. The submission sets an incredibly high bar for the band's first ever music video and offers a promising indication of the potential yet to be achieved by Pure Hex.
Still Dark from Pure Hex is currently available via Neon Bloodbath - HERE