Wandering Through Strange Places — Ships in the Night Drift Through an Ethereal Dreamscape in the Video for “The Fire”

Here in the nightmare we’re smoke in the sky,
Burning through air, falling through time.

Insomnia is a relentless condition that fractures sleep patterns, leaving individuals trapped in a cycle of restlessness. It frays the edges of the mind, leading to impaired cognitive functions, diminished concentration, and heightened emotional responses. The constant struggle to achieve rest exacerbates stress and anxiety, casting a shadow over daily activities and eroding mental resilience. Insomnia thus becomes both symptom and source of distress.

This condition sparked inspiration for Alethea Leventhal of NYC’s Ships In The Night, who had long dealt with those long nights of restlessness. The result is The Fire, a track from Ships In The Night’s sophomore album, Latent Powers, released on Cleopatra Records.

Leventhal’s soothing, angelic voice (think The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs meets Enya) contrasts sharply with her lyrics’ dark content, which paint a vivid picture of an apocalyptic aftermath where the speaker and companions linger as ethereal smoke in a ruined landscape. This imagery of being perpetually engulfed in flames serves as a potent metaphor for overwhelming, unmanageable emotions. In this chaotic realm, references to celestial bodies and untamed spirits amplify the sense of colossal, indomitable forces, both surrounding and permeating the speaker, highlighting a persistent state of upheaval and metamorphosis.

The Fire is a meaningful song for me because it chronicles the lifelong struggle I’ve had with sleep,” Leventhal explains. “Insomnia and nightmares have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. I wanted the music video for the song to show some of the nightmares which seem to live in the collective unconscious- losing our teeth, showing up in public and realizing that you’re naked, being lost and confused in an old house that feels familiar yet scary. We all live different lives with so many different experiences, yet when we sleep our minds wander to similar, strange places.”

Watch the video for ‘The Fire” below:

For nearly ten years, Ships In The Night, Alethea Leventhal’s solo endeavor, has been sculpting dark dream pop from her base in New York City. Her music draws on dreams, recollections, and the faint whispers of the external world, crafting an atmospheric expanse marked by expansive waves of synths and dynamic rhythms. Leventhal’s work evokes an environment that resonates with depth and motion, a testament to her unique musical vision.

Listen to The Fire below, and order Latent Powers here:

Follow Ships in the Night:

Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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