On the release of the ‘sand plumb’ video, DD catches up with Dead Gowns to find out about the creation of the video, the tender song that it accompanies, and the women behind the project.
A collaboration between Dead Gowns and the art collective folk + kin, the video for ‘sand plumb’ opens with a figure as she strips down and steps into the cold sea, before dipping beneath the surface. Intimate and entrancing, it’s a celebration of the sunlight moments only our lovers see.
Watch the whole video below, then read our interview with Dead Gowns.
Hi, Dead Gowns. The video for ‘sand plumb (demo)’ is a beautifully intimate exploration of the body. What inspired it? How did the music inform the video?
When I wrote ‘sand plumb,’ I was working through a personal loss and my camera became a diary of running water, pouring water. This catalogue informed both the song and the folk + kin collaboration for the video. It was a damp, blue April. The sand by the ocean was coarse and freezing. To plumb is to measure the depth of a body of water.
Then E.L.A. (Eliza), the video’s director, pitched the idea of nymphs. The ancient Greek word nymphe meant ‘bride,’ a body attached to a land or location. With Caro Xia as our Director of Photography, we rejected the objectivity of the nymph and celebrated our nymphs as intimate and nuanced. The depth of a body with water. We were also inspired by the nude photography of Madeleine Chan Stanley, who then became our Asst. DP on the project.
The video is also a coming together of Dead Gowns with folk + kin art collective. How did that partnership come about?
I’m a founding member of folk + kin – though this creation was totally unexpected. My area of focus in the group is community programming and multi-media concerts. When I first shared this song and video-log with Eliza and Caro, it was as a friend. They loved this early demo and the subsequent collaboration for a music video transformed the nature of our collective. Since we no longer live in the same city, digital work is another way we can honor our commitment to community and collaboration through multi-media projects.
How did folk + kin art collective come into being?
While living in New York City, we began hosting multimedia pop-up shows because we wanted to expose cross-pollination between music and other art forms. We also wanted events that encouraged community, experiences that asked you to gather for an entire ‘show.’
Now that Eliza, Caro and I live in different cities, we are focusing on smaller pop-ups in our respective areas and building community through digital interfaces. There’s a lot of hate on the internet right now. Our aim with folk + kin is to promote a positive and healing digital space through multimedia collaborations.
“There’s a lot of hate on the internet right now. Our aim with folk + kin is to promote a positive and healing digital space through multimedia collaborations.”
Tell us about the song-writing process. Do you work on one song for a long time, or is it a quicker process than that? Do you go back and edit lyrics?
‘sand plumb’ came so quick, a flow of words into a vessel. Sure, small edits came later but the meat of the work happened there in the attic, on Deer Isle, ME. I was on the island for a weekend and the song came in the first afternoon. I recorded it on my phone. Then I jumped into the freezing April ocean. That recording (slightly edited) is what you hear today, and the ‘found’ footage in the music video comes from that trip.
What kind of stories do you try to tell with your music?
I try to tell stories of small, nuanced spaces. That which is a sliver in your world is a huge world in and of itself. A lot of work on my recent release, the ‘new spine’ ep, focuses on small happenings that flesh out to greater themes of chronic illness, loss, and anger. Mainly, I want to witness moments and note the semaphores.
Thanks, Dead Gowns!
Find out more:
Dead Gowns is the latest project by Portland-ME musician, Geneviève (GV) Beaudoin. Pulling on folk, garage and soft rock tendencies, it’s music in the raw & tender. Other collaborations for GV include the musical duo, Mizuna, and the multi-art collective, folk + kin.
@voila_deadgowns | deadgowns.com
folk + kin is an art collective run out of Brooklyn, the South Side of Chicago, and Maine. We create and encourage ethical art and media through interdisciplinary productions.
E.L.A. is a queer Quaker living in Chicago’s South Side. She is the executive director of folk + kin. She writes, listens, and makes; always ear first.
Caro Xia is a photographer, event boss, and wanderer. When she isn’t dangling from 250’ coastal Douglas fir trees in the Pacific Northwest, she hosts cozy meals in her Brooklyn apartment and plots her next adventures with friends and family.