Rochester’s The Heroic Enthusiasts (James Tabbi and Thomas Ferrara) announce the release of a cinematic new video for Empty Space, the plaintive track off Fits and Fashions, out now via Meridian/ECR Music Group.

The duo’s shared admiration of Brit-pop, New Wave, and Post-Punk served as their creative catalyst, after celebrated respective solo efforts as recording artists, producers, composers, and multi-instrumentalists. Educated in computational mathematics and mathematical statistics, Tabbi and Ferrara’s creative collaborations deftly merge the intellectual and emotional. Culling the nostalgia of 80’s synthpop, The Heroic Enthusiasts went straight to the source by enlisting the production expertise of Stephen Hague (New Order, Peter Gabriel, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys).

“So much of what I’m sent these days is basically beats with hooks, but the Heroics’ stuff was a breath of fresh air,” says Hague. “When I first heard their demos, I was taken by their song-craft and musicality.”

The Heroic Enthusiasts/Meridian/ECR Music

The Heroic Enthusiasts wanted a striking short film for the track, so they hired NYC director and photographer Alice Teeple. “We wanted to commission an artist of unique vision to create a short film,” Tabbi explains. “When we learned we could get Alice Teeple to write and direct this film, we were honored and excited.”

“The lyrics of ‘Empty Space’ can be interpreted in so many ways,” adds Ferrara. “Seeing what Alice conceived for her short film was fascinating.”

The timing of the project was creatively serendipitous for Teeple: “This video is a deeply personal take on the song. It was filmed during a tumultuous period in my life, and the lyrics emotionally moved me as I was trying to find my own footing.”
The surrealist video depicts a series of erstwhile authors struggling through writer’s block, channeling their life experiences and muses. A mysterious red-headed woman wrestles with words, literally. We see seemingly disparate landscapes and memories converging in the spirit realm, coming through the writers’ imaginations. The video was filmed on location in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, Montclair, NJ, and in central Pennsylvania, on the very farm where Teeple spent her early childhood. “I took the core memory aspect literally here,” she says. “I wanted to show the connective thread that ties together the dramas of the human experience. It also was a beautiful synchronicity that Stephen Hague produced the track, because I filmed this at the very place where I first heard his music as a child.”
Teeple and a small crew hauled a forty-pound antique typewriter all over Prospect Park, welcoming various people to mime out their own story. Several friends and friendly strangers made appearances, including experimental musician Jay Ackley, performance artist Nebula, ECR label owner/activist Blake Morgan, and comedian Emidio Krupa. “Even my dad, who chauffeured me around rural PA to film those sequences, made a cameo,” says Teeple.
Famed photographer and art director Suzanne Heintz (the red-haired muse) generously supplied large typewritten set pieces, providing a striking visual for the narrative that ties all the people together. “Suzanne really took the feel of this video to another realm,” says Teeple. “I’d been a fan of her photography for years, and it was such a joy to collaborate with her.”
“Empty Space” can be found on The Heroic Enthusiasts’ EP Fits and Fashions (Meridian/ECR Music Group).
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