Remember when I hated female vocalists? No, you probably wouldn’t. I used to much prefer men’s singing, and I still do to some extent. But I would generalize how much I disliked female voices. But, by the time I started writing here, I’d learned how to appreciate some great female artists. The reason for this is the incredible talented Charlene Kaye, who showed me that I simply had not found a female vocalist with whom I could connect before. Once she opened the door for me, others came flooding in, mostly in the indie/singer-songwriter genre.
I discovered Charlene with “Dress and Tie,” and explored her previous work in Things I Will Need in the Past and Charlene Kaye and the Brilliant Eyes. I saw her when she opened for the Starkids in Apocalyptour, and, in some ways, was more excited for her opening show than I was for the Starkids (Shh! Don’t tell anyone!).
As the release of Animal Love drew near, obviously pre-Apocalytour, I obsessed over what the new album would be, how she’d grown as a musician and how her sound would change. What I’d neglected to think about was the vision of her music videos for this new album.
We’ve gotten three official music-videos from the new album: “Animal Love I,” “Hummingbird Heart,” and, most recently, “Forever is a Long Time.”
In “Animal Love I,” directed by Liann Kaye, Charlene toys with four hunters trying to find her within the woods. The filming of this music-video already makes it a stand-out. The camera moves within the drama of the scene so that the entire music video is one single shot. On her youtube channel, Charlene reveals that they filmed the sequence 21 times and finalized the music video with take 20.
While the rest of the dancers bring color and life into the video, Charlene wears her shining, monochrome gray costume so naturally that she commands the camera with ease. As the camera moves among the other dancers, you feel like a hunter yourself because you are drawn to Charlene in a similar way and wait for her return to the screen. The music video is full of sensations – light, color, shadows and in the center of everything – whether visually or dramatically- is Charlene.
“Hummingbird Heart” is a concert music-video, where live performances of the song are edited together to embody the energy of a concert. Filmed by Liam White and edited together by Liann Kaye, the music video begins with the pre-show preparations before allowing us to see Charlene singing on stage. She is wearing a red dress in this first shot, drawing our eyes to her figure. The close-up that follows, provides us with a masked Charlene, giving the music-video an interesting visual motif that returns at various times throughout the video. The feathered mask makes the images feel more relevant the song.
While Charlene again commands the footage, we see glimpses of the rest of the band and we can literally feel how much work is put into this by everyone involved. Even in concert format, Charlene and her team take great care in finding ways to embody the song they are breathing life into. The music-video for “Hummingbird Heart” showcases how Charlene is not just a singer-songwriter, but a performer also.
The final, most recent video, is “Forever is a Long Time,” this time directed by Liam White. In this video, Charlene is a real rock star, the intensity of the performance increasing as the video continues. The solid white clothes of the musicians clashes against the shadows of the stage and fades into the yellow-orange spotlight that illuminates them. When it’s not the angry spotlight, it’s the projected clips that blend into skin. Visually, this is the video in which you will discover something new with each new watch. It’s a powerful song, but even more powerful video.
Visit Charlene Kaye’s youtube channel for more music videos, behind the scenes footage, live performance, and extras!