Last Friday XamVolo dropped his latest EP A Damn Fine Spectacle. Four tracks of sweeping jazz and neo-soul, it’s his most considered project to date, built around a tale of a woman denying her identity in search of the glamorous lifestyle she desires. Each track sees Xam exploring a different narrative and a different aspect of his sound, ranging from laidback lounge jazz to commanding film-score worthy epics.
Alongside the new EP, Xam has teamed up with film producers The Elephant Room for a series of short films based on the EP’s central character. We’ll be premiering each part exclusively over the next two weeks until the full film has been revealed.
Today we share Part One ‘Lose Love’, a surreal introduction to the universe Xam has created. Following A Damn Fine Spectacle‘s glamorous protagonist entering the bar in which the whole film takes place, glimpses of later scenes flash throughout. Xam himself makes his way to stage as the video progresses, presiding over the whole scene like a one-man Greek Chorus. Watch ‘Lose Love’ below and find out more about the project in our interview with Xam after the jump.
How did the A Damn Fine Spectacle film come about?
The first three songs serve as a Part I, II and III to the story I was trying to tell in this EP. The concept focuses on a single character’s battle against her identity and the lengths to which she is willing to go to attain the lifestyle she desires. I had the opportunity to work with a film company called The Elephant Room, who presented the idea of a single piece dealing with the whole journey, which immediately made sense. It was also something I had wanted to experiment with for a while, so it all worked out!
Why have you decided to split the film into separate parts?
I thought The Elephant Room’s initial idea to tell the story through a short sequence of events, retelling each time with a different viewpoint leading the observer to draw different conclusions was a strong one when I first heard it. Film is a rich medium but it’s a rare opportunity when a story can be told from more than one perspective on camera. This seemed like a good idea to break down a character fuelled by such multi-layered motivations.
What are some of the major themes that you wanted to work into the music and the film?
The main theme throughout this arc is desire: what it feels like to be desired; to yearn for it; to find it; to be greeted by it; to be forsaken, broken and overwhelmed by it. The theme of desire runs deep throughout both the music and the visuals.
How involved were you in the direction of the film?
The visual storyline is slightly different to the lyrical one; each is almost its own piece of art. I was quite hands-off with this one, mainly because I was intrigued as to how The Elephant Room intended to execute the idea. The initial pitch was quite detailed – they seemed very capable and the results showed. I have a few things I like present in every video of mine – such as the black honey and the number 15 – other than that I was comfortable letting them realise the idea in a way which was creatively fulfilling – they’re artists too, you know?
Did you have the concept for the film in mind when writing the music?
Not necessarily – I didn’t really give them an idea as to how I wanted it to play out. I always strive to have the music speak for itself. The Elephant Room picked up on the main themes themselves, which was a great thing; some of the ideas they pitched before they had heard the full EP with all the segues were uncanny – even this idea of a car outside; they hadn’t heard the segue I was working on in ‘Dark Teeth’ at that point, but the two ideas were so similar – everything fit together so well.
We’ll be premiering each part of XamVolo’s short film here on Notion over the next two weeks. Check back for the second part of A Damn Fine Spectacle on Tuesday.
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