“Within the psyche pop high the song falls away into an almost R & B dance party mixed with tropical punk sounds. It is full of imagery while that rhythm guitar pushes you into unknown delights around every corner all the while Vane's funky pop vocal performance makes you smile.”
Atlanta-based indie/psych/pop/experimental artist Lazuli Vane, known for fronting and producing viral band Trash Panda, is releasing the music video for his debut single, “Snakes.” It features rich symbolism and bright colors with a fun quasi-horror-psychedelic-cult-film feel, and is releasing on VEVO May 3rd.
The video, directed by Lazuli with director of photography David Thompson (known by the handle @impossiblesoul), focuses on personal transformation. In a pink tile bathroom we see the artist in a bout of psychosis, drawing eyes on his face with eyeliner and applying makeup and lipstick. Live pythons drape over light fixtures and Lazuli's body. We see shots of his face, now green and mustached, floating at the center of a jerkily spinning pink and yellow painted mandala made of snakes and cartoonish, almost paleolithic eyes. Rife with symbolism and intention, the video’s climax occurs as Vane goes catatonic in a black-water bathtub, pythons slithering around his legs. Taking cues from cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky and Jungian psychology, It’s conclusion and surprise ending features Vane in deep meditation atop a bare mountain, with wind sounds and a poetic voice over. The video concludes with the seemingly absurd line “for now we swim like birds, but soon we will both be fish,” referring to a psychological return to the depths of the unconscious. The video is slated to be released at the beginning of May.
About the video, Lazuli Vane said, “Making this video was an affair of shadow work for me. I was confronting a lot of my unconscious drives and some of the personality traits which have bitten me on the heel, so to speak. It was also a chance for me to give vent to some of the personal pain I'd felt in recent years as a result of trusting some of the wrong people. Overall though, I still wanted it to be fun. It's lighthearted at the core; it's not a self-serious, sanctimonious, self-righteous thing I'm going for...I'm really just trying to tell a redemptive, transformative story. The past year has been a time of huge personal transformation for me.”
Lazuli Vane is a moniker adopted by Trash Panda creator, producer, and front man Patrick Taylor in 2018. Vane fuses aspects of classic pop, lo-fi indie, and psychedelia together in his bedroom studio, producing a sound which is infectious and somewhat experimental, though rooted in pop form. His debut single takes a stab at untrustworthy relations and explores the seasons of life when things just aren’t lining up right. When life feels like a strange dream or a nightmare. It celebrates the process of restarting when you need an overhaul. Featuring Max Hewett on bass and Paul Wagner on drums, it was recorded partly at Aaron and Nancy Hill’s Green House Atlanta and partly at Lazuli Vane’s home studio. The single’s cover art was created by Daniel Plascencia. The song was released in October of 2018 and has since grown in popularity on Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist as well as over a thousand independently curated playlists.
I often felt like an outsider growing up because the world in my mind rarely matched the world as described by anyone around me. It was subtle but completely pervasive. I found a place for my strangeness in music. A place to vent the overwhelming floods of thought in which I found myself drowning.
My solace took physical form in my room, which at 14 I turned into a small studio with money I made mowing lawns and teaching guitar. I started out with a shitty little 4 track recorder, some pedals, amps, and microphones, then grew it into an early Pro Tools LE system with a nice keyboard and some more gear. I began making records in high school, passing out early albums on burned CDs with titles like “Sweet Illusion,” “Ephemera",”An Open Diary Always Locked,” “Falling Sickness,” and so on. I would go to school reluctantly, thinking about music and poetry all day. I loved T.S. Elliot, I loved Thoreau, Emerson, the Bronte sisters. Then, through George MacDonald’s masterpiece, Lilith, I discovered a mind which thought like mine. In the spirit world of Lilith I met prayers flying as birds, I felt aspects of my own consciousness in Lilith with her fist seized upon her attachments to ego, and met part of myself as Vane: clear-self, not neurotic, just existing in a vast space of humility. I had never seen the depths of the mind scattered so beautifully across the arc of a story so well. This changed my relationship with myself; it gave me more confidence and freedom in the search for my own heart.
At first I was inspired by the music I grew up with - everything from Billie Holiday to Sam Cook to Elvis to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Gary Puckett, Neil Young, Hank Williams, Van Halen, James Taylor, ABBA, Pink Floyd, Prince, Weezer, and the list goes on and on… and then by rock music of the time, like the Strokes, the Early November, Hellogoodbye, The Flaming Lips, The White Stripes, Bright Eyes, and so on. After my first year of college I somehow ended up at Berklee in Boston, where I studied as much as I could and built a relationship with jazz, world music, and the wider world in general. Up to that time my exposure to culture at large had been limited. I began to fall in love with other home recording artists’ work, like the master Les Paul, who mixed his whimsical guitar style with home recording wizardry to pioneer the overdub and recorded music as we know it. Through the years I’ve gathered the experience of playing various roles in rock, pop, r&b, hip hop, country, indie, folk, jazz, and electronic groups. Because of this I tend to want to make every kind of music I love all at once. It’s a challenge to try and narrow it into a niche, one I would sometimes prefer to ignore.
I look forward to making more eclectic records in the near future.
I feel the material churning in my blood.
These days I'm reaping inspiration from South American literature like Isabelle Allende, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Pablo Neruda. I've devoured most of Alejandro Jodorowsky's work this year, watching several of his films repeatedly, as well as Bauhaus... it's the centennial of the school's opening. I'm loving Rainer Maria Rilke's poetry and Attar's Conference of the Birds. Nature is my first love; in nature I am alive with myself, and when my bare feet touch the earth I feel a closeness and a confidence which I can feel no other way. That's my first inspiration. And my life is a continuous love affair with the universe.
To me, this quote of Carl Jung’s describes the feeling of a person captured in this position well:
“Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument.
The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends,
but one who allows art to realize its purpose through him.” - Jung
I started a band called Trash Panda because of this process playing out… and I started this project in order for that process to continue into its next phase. I can’t speak for the intelligence of either of these moves because this is a flood in which I am being swept along. It may seem dramatic to say so, but it’s nevertheless how I feel. We’ll see where this all goes in time.