“You can be optimistic, and totally without hope.” – Francis Bacon
After the disbanding of his previous bands TV Ghost and Phases, Jackson VanHorn embarked on a solo musical venture. After a slew of demos, self-recorded singles, a mini-LP, and touring, Jackson VanHorn’s musical craft came into its own with the release of last year’s debut EP, After The Rehearsal, followed by the Reworked EP, a digital collection of reworked songs made by the artist.
The latest track and video, “Common Era”, is a ballad to dissociation, detachment, and processing grief. The loss of time, the confusion, and the muddling of emotion take centre stage here. Channeling Nick Cave, Richard Hawley, Peter Murphy, and Jarvis Cocker, this is a track that oozes a hopeless emotion, welling up with melancholy but putting on a brave mask.
The video clip is a beautifully-conceived surrealist romp, evoking the imagery of isolation and defeat by echoing artists like the mirror reflections of Rene Magritte, the boxed figures of Francis Bacon, the melted humans of Dalí, the silent waiting of Marina Abramović, and the never-ending stairs of MC Escher. Use of projections and drawings take us through the labyrinthine psyche of engulfing grief and nightmares.
Watch the video for “Common Era” below:
A Silent Understanding explores the collapse of the individual within the context of a contemporary capitalist society, capturing the despondency and darkness felt by its widespread effects. A Silent Understanding merges literary and cinematic influences with philosophical attentiveness, peeling back the veiled facade of society and holding a mirror to the self. Both contemporary and timeless in its commentary, this record views the world through a critical lens. It acknowledges historical parallels (particularly in times of plague), while harbouring frustration and disappointment. The world hurts both environmentally and socio-economically… leaving one acutely aware whilst crushed in deafening silence.
“Despite the tenebrosity, this new record is not completely devoid of light,” VanHorn concludes.
Listen below and preorder here.
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