With glitchy experimental-pop synths roaming across a rushing soundscape, Gymnast’s ‘Ghost’ exudes the feeling of exploration, travel and transition.

From the song’s start, long reverb swells set Gymnast’s footprint in a world that is in motion at the speed of light. A sense of urgency is pressing, and the stakes are high risk and eerie. A scurrying string solo continues the feed into the hunt of what ‘Ghost’ is leading us to. Or is it where?

Sounds of pattering keys and echoing vocals beg us to run at the pace of the track and trust its sense of quick direction and pit stops along the way. Skimming through perspectives from “the ghost in the garden” to the “the bride in the branches”, Gymnast’s ability to characterise their captivatingly whimsical lyrics is stellar. Even while only resting for a moment in each one of these characters’ shoes, ‘Ghost’ both instrumentally and emotionally paints vivid personal images of the track’s overall themes. At times, we are all “the kid at the picnic, the pixels in your rockpool”, merely taking part in the background in our transitional surroundings.

With a compelling chorus that sounds as wide as a choir, Gymnast lends a hand to us all in our current universal experience of change – we are in this whirlwind together.

‘Ghost’ is accompanied by an intricately made video; an innovative Google Maps animation, fitting the song’s exploration of themes of belonging vs. hosting, outside/inside boundaries… plus allowing some vicarious world-exploration for locked-down viewers!


Jill Goyeau

WATCH: Lala Lala – ‘Water Over Sex’

Stop-motion animation, personal anguish and drifting lo-fi sounds permeate the new visuals for Lala Lala‘s latest single ‘Water Over Sex’. The track is taken from her upcoming album The Lamb, released on September 28th via Hardly Art.

Based in Chicago, Lala Lala (aka Lillie West) says the new track is based on a paranoid feeling that any “good fortune” she encountered would be “subsequently taken away” to “balance the scales” after a home invasion. Whilst this sounds like a sad premise, Lillie’s music feels far from melancholy with its jangly guitar sounds and dreamy vocals.

The video for ‘Water Over Sex’ was co-directed by Matthew James-Wilson and Toronto-based illustrator Ginette Lapalme. Matthew explains the video’s inception further: “I know Ginette from the comics scene in Toronto and, since Lillie is a fan (with her stickers on her guitar case and a few tattoos of her drawings), I wanted to work on an animated music video with her for the new album. We spent a week straight shooting using fabric, photocopies, Ginette’s collection of miniatures and knick-knacks, and stuff we found at 99 cent stores in Chinatown. The video follows a lamb doll (which Ginette made) continually daydreaming about the objects around her while she tries to live a relaxing life. We wanted to sort of indirectly reference the conflict in the song about how your lifestyle changes after you quit drinking. Since we all live in three different cities and couldn’t film Lillie for it, I asked Lillie to send over webcam footage of her singing the song that we could animate over.”

Originally from London, Lillie moved with her family to Los Angeles, where she spent her teenage years and later to Chicago. She started Lala Lala as a way to communicate things she felt she could never say out loud; touching on issues like intense paranoia, deaths of loved ones, and re-examinations of existing relationships.

‘Water Over Sex’ is another exploration of some of these intensely relatable themes. Watch the video for it below and follow Lala Lala on Facebook for more updates.

Pre-order Lala Lala’s new album The Lamb here.

Kate Crudgington