Rising indie-pop artist Alice Gray had an eventful summer career-wise. To start off the tough but exciting metaphorical roadtrip of new music, she got together with Devin Glass (director) and Carter Ross (cinematographer) to shoot the dreamy and ethereal work of art that’s the music video for “Hell With You”. The video embodies a consistently soft but eye-catching colour palette, and has a particular aesthetic that may have had something to do with the fact that it was shot on 16mm film – a testament to Alice and the music video team’s creativity, no doubt.
After that came “Indigo”, which is a song I can only describe as one that captures the feeling of free-floating underwater. “Indigo” is one of the three singles off of Paradise?, Alice’s new EP that dropped on September 6. Fortunately, even among the general busyness that comes with releasing a new body of work, Alice was able to take some time to answer some questions for Affinity.
Congratulations on the video! Music videos are always exciting. What was the best part about the filming experience?
The best and worst part was shooting on FILM. We had to be super careful with each scene because we only had 30 minutes to work with and we couldn’t play it back to make sure we got the shot. I had to put all my trust in my Director and DP, and they killed it, because it came better than I could’ve hoped.
The one thing that really stood out to me about the video is the color palette. Talk to me a bit about that – what were you going for in terms of aesthetic?
I wanted the aesthetic to match my project which is super low-contrast, dreamy pastels. I was inspired by several films including Phantom Thread, Moonrise Kingdom, and TurboKid.
Where did you find the inspiration for “Hell With You”?
“Hell With You” is an exaggerated, self-aware song about accepting the challenges one faces in love. While it comes off like a masochistic approach to love, it’s actually about owning and working through your differences.
Where/how do you find inspiration for your songs in general?
In the case for this song (and many other songs) I’ll be driving to the studio and think about where I’m at- what I feel like saying that particular day. I don’t love entering a co-writing session without any direction because it can lead to forced concepts and lyrics. The idea “I kinda like living in hell with you” was a voice memo I made on the way to the studio.
“Indigo”’s overall production is really unique and cool. When I listen to it, I feel almost transported underwater or perhaps to a very passive ocean. What was your intention with the song?
My friend and collaborator Peter Fenn, sent me this beat because it reminded him of me and just like you, I was transported to an underwater daydream by the reverb-heavy production. As you can tell from the frequent mentions of water and swimming in my music, I’m heavily influenced by a childhood filled with summers at the beach, trips to Lake Huntington, and swimming in my grandparents’ pool. That’s when I felt the most magic- near bodies of water. And in a synesthetic way, it influences my production, lyrics, the way I sing, and the visual assets I create.
What does “Indigo” mean to you and what inspired it?
There’s no big message here- just a summer love song with all the feels.
What is your favorite song from the EP and why?
Even though I love them all for different reasons I think I have to say “Hell with You” because of my experience making the video for it. I like that it has a world beyond the song.
Your growing success surely comes with some minor (and major) life changes. How do you manage to keep up with your growing fan base? Does that impact your everyday life at all?
Being an independent artist is expensive- paying for production, a band, rehearsal space, photography, clothing, etc and I earn a lot of that money through graphic design. I’m reaching a point where my music career should be my full-time focus, so we’ll have to figure out a way to maintain the momentum.
Do you have any last words for the Affinity audience’s true creatives?
Follow what feels good. When there’s a difficult decision to make, I choose the one that will bring me more joy.
Featured image courtesy of Tallulah PR & Management