Quiet Parade enlist fellow Halifax musician/filmmaker Gavin Maclean to interpret their song, City Of The Dead.
This past September welcomed the arrival of new music from Halifax quartet, Quiet Parade. Guided through several albums and EPs by the steady strum of founding member Trevor Murphy, the group’s self-titled 2015 release is its strongest to date and the first Quiet Parade album truly written as an ensemble.
The band began as a solo project by Murphy, but has continued to grow and gather members over the past six years, each contributing something unique to the band’s ever increasing sonic scope.
To support the release of Quiet Parade, the band chose to continue the path of collaboration established in the making of this album by inviting a series of friends and filmmakers to interpret their music visually.
“It’s a strange feeling when you just take something that you put so much time into and just hand it over to someone else and say, ‘go with your gut and do what you feel is right with this’,” said Murphy. “For me personally, that was a big part of this whole record because I consider this record the first record we’ve written as a band. For me, it involved giving up my apprehensions and letting others have their input. So when it came to making content that supported the record, I wanted to use that same strategy and just trust people that I know.”
City of the Dead is the second song off the band’s latest release to receive the video treatment. Inspired by a line from AMC’s Seattle police drama series The Killing, the song pairs the band’s established melancholy esthetic with a strong sense of optimism.
“One thing this band does well is juxtaposing a serious lyrical tone with something that perhaps is a little hopeful in our music,” said Murphy. “We tend to revel in the sadness but the music shows us it’s not all bad. We focus on the hope and the light in every situation. I think there’s a theme of light that follows us through this whole record. Through the music, we can disguise a lot of somber vibes and give a different approach to the stories we’re trying to tell.”
“In the city of the dead we’re all born and bred to be liars”, sings Murphy on the song’s infectious lyrical hook.
“It’s like looking at something that goes wrong and how it’s always easy to blame the other party, and sometimes it’s not as easy to take another look at things,” he said. “It follows with the line ‘I’m waiting on you to help me put out the fire’. I guess it’s a bit about rectifying a situation but not going at it alone.”
The band chose Halifax musician/filmmaker Gavin Maclean to film the video.
“I knew Gavin’s interpretation would work well,” said Murphy. “He’s so good at putting visuals together for songs. We were all really happy when we saw the first cut of the video. It just turned out great.”
Maclean’s body of work is defined by experimentation. His creative use of light and visual effects, together with cityscapes of his Halifax home, have helped shape his identity as a filmmaker and videographer as well as that of his own band, Glory Glory.
“Trevor basically gave all the freedom a nut ball like me needs and I had a really good time making it,” said Maclean. “Sometimes when I am working out videos, I try to convey a feeling more than a story. That is what happened with this song. When I listened to it, it made me think of my city, Halifax, and how it is changing so much and all of the good and bad that come with that. Mostly good.”
Maclean’s interpretation is the perfect compliment to the band’s melodic optimism, and helps carry forward the story and the lyrical mood of City of the Dead.
“I love this city so I went out shot a bunch pretty things, shot some pretty people, and then Quiet Parade,” he said. “Then when I was editing, I thought of each cut as a moving postcard for the band and the city too, I guess. I wanted nostalgia, warm, kind of sad, longing and gentle feelings to come through. I don’t know if any of that did but, that is what I was going for.”