Oakland opera singer Mia Dean (Antler Family) and English punk-rocker Steve Lake (Zounds) have a long history of various collaborations under their respective names, but for their latest incarnation, they have united as the fascinating duet Blood Moon Wedding. The second single and video from the upcoming self-titled album, due on the 7th of April via Mobilization Recordings, is “WANTED”.
Dean and Lake’s voices intertwine in a hypnotic call-and-response performance, reminiscent of Anita Lane and Mick Harvey; PJ Harvey and Thom Yorke; Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood. It also calls to mind those teen tragedy songs from the 50s and 60s – think Jan and Dean’s Dead Man’s Curve or the Shangri-Las’ “Leader of the Pack”, but with a Rowland S. Howard-style twist. The title is a delightful play on words, referring to the lovers themselves and being on the lam from the fuzz.
Dean and Lake took the narrative of a stock footage film of vigilante teens and cops playing dangerous highway games. Trickery, deceit, foolhardy decisions, and thrills are afoot. It’s Dukes of Hazzard…but sinister…the kind of ominous life lesson film you show a driver’s ed class. Dean and Lake cast themselves as a Greek chorus of sorts, appearing in cross-fades at moments of danger.
“We wanted to do something different with this video that caught the vibe of reckless danger of the song, and what is happening in the lives of our characters at this moment in the story,” says Mia Dean. “They are deeply attached to each other, they are on the run, they are being pursued, they are in serious trouble, and they are pretty much getting off on the whole situation.“
“It was an expression of the constant battle in my head between hope and paranoia,” Lake adds.
Watch the video for “Wanted” below
Blood Moon Wedding is a themed album of dramatic songs, atmospheric soundscapes and magical-realist spoken word. It showcases the talents of Tom Dean (Antler Family, Code of the West) on keys and bass, Jason Willer (Jello Biafra and GSM, Charger, Acid King) on drums, and David Coulter (The Pogues, Tom Waits, Test Department) on violin. Additional recording assistance was provided by Skot Brown (Altar de Fey, Esses, Phantom Limbs) and Salvador Raya (Asunder, Laudanum) in Oakland, mixed in Los Angeles by Alex DeGroot (Zola Jesus, Sondra Sun Odeon), and mastered by Justin Weis at Trakworx.
Mia Dean studied classical opera and performance in San Francisco with the great Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano, Blanche Thebom, and abroad. She sang opera on the stages of Italy and Austria before returning to California to focus on composition and production. Mia Dean co-founded the Oakland Metro Operahouse, where she met Steve in 2017 when Zounds was headlining Manic Relapse Fest. Known primarily as a great punk and metal venue, the Oakland Metro Operahouse is also an award-winning experimental opera company for which Dean has produced many operas, including The Turn of the Screw (B.Britten), Les Enfants Terribles (P.Glass), and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Brecht/Weil) for which she also co-wrote an updated libretto, The Hoodslam Opera.
Steve Lake is member of the influential English alt-rock group Zounds, an English anarcho punk/post-punk band, fronted by Lake. Founded in 1977, they were originally part of the cassette culture movement, releasing material on the Fuck Off Records label. Zounds were also involved in the squatting and free festival scene. Lake’s work is expansive and experimental. Beyond Zounds, he has produced and performed a number of spoken-word and multimedia events throughout Europe, including the Edinburgh Festival.
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