Post-punk shoegazers Dangerfields have been through hell and back as a band, and with true post-trauma trooper style, they’re paying homage to the near fatal illness of frontman Lucas Swart with their upcoming album Echoes and Pulses.
Heck, even the album art contains a photo of Miranda Moss’s lighting installation “The End”, outside the Groote Schuur Hospital.
“No Sunlight”, whose video dropped last week, is as visually touching as it is cathartic. Directed by Barry de Villiers of Roundabout films, it’s a metaphorical journey up to your interpretation. Sweeping shots of rolling yellow canola fields, fynbos ridged mountains and cracked earth, counter the sharply angled grey guts of a concrete building.
“The music was written when I was very ill and we were all unsure whether I’d live for very much longer and we were creating a lot of short instrumental sketches,” explains Swart.
Swart himself moves through the video in a grubby hospital gown, dragging a sheet in his wake – while an angelic woman, portayed by his fiancé Mia Snyman, slips nearer. This is as close to home as it gets, and the authenticity is staggering.
The visuals are what could be interpreted as post-apocalyptic, but I prefer the term dreamscape. Although what could personally be more apocalyptic than facing your own fragile mortality, physically and mentally, from the four walls of a hospital room?
Synth and reverbed guitar melody are tethered only by the grounding drum beat, and soothing vocals which feel more part of the tapestry than the centrepiece. It’s dreamy, haunting, swept up in torrid melancholia, yet somehow irrevocably rousing.