Photo Gallery: Woodes take us behind-the-scenes of her new music video, Euphoria
The Melbourne-based musician's new single arrives with the announcement of her debut album, out October 2nd.
Header image by Nick Mckk.
As we've come to watch Melbourne-via-Far North Queensland musician Woodes grow over the years, one thing we've constantly found ourselves coming back to with her work is her ability to create worlds out of her music; all-encompassing visions that often go way beyond the standard single or EP release you'd expect from an independent musician like hers. It's been something that's continually evolved since her entrance with Melbourne-based producer Elkkle, growing with everything she's put out as her work is refined and simmered down to its most potent and beautiful form.
Over the last two years, however, there's been a clear uptick in Woodes' ability to find the magic out of her work, and translate that into all-encompassing universes that really summarise her approach to music. On her latest EP, 2018's Golden Hour, she was about to bring together cinematic percussion with swirling melodies that for singles like Dots, were translated into music videos that explore alien-like creatures in a sci-fi-esque adventure; the booming instrumentals underneath proving the perfect soundscape for its visuals to move alongside it.
Now, in 2020, I have a feeling we're about to see this become bigger than it ever has before. With a new single titled Euphoria just the other week, Woodes announced the news of her forthcoming debut album Crystal Ball, which will arrive on October 2nd this year and with it, welcome the musician's strive to bring something bigger to music in its most clear-cut form. It's an album that's been years in the making; the lessons and learnings of the musician over the years distilled into a release that's bound to be defining for the musician, encapsulating her brilliance and how she's going to be able to move with it in the future.
Euphoria, the single which was released with the album's announcement, gives us a hint as to what's bound to come with the album's release. It's a stirring, upbeat return from the musician that sees her team with The Kite String Tangle on production, capturing the cinematic growls of her work but with a new, refined edge that brings it forward into 2020 (and beyond). "It was written imagining it being played live, imagining it being so big and building at the end of the set, and sung all together. It's really fun collaborating with Danny as we just add more and more ideas, and think on a very similar wavelength."
It also arrives with an official video, which really captures that somewhat cinematic, overarching universe that Woodes brings into her work, deepening those ties to the sci-fi edge of her work and how she's able to use music, fashion and beyond to bring it to life every time. This time around, a dark-lit and mystic forest is the setting, bringing these kind-of medieval vibes to the forefront but in a way that feels really unique, and really high-budget for an indie music video.
There's also a full Minecraft world incoming too, teaming up with Reuben Gore (who built the infamous Splendour Minecraft world a while back) to bring the Crystal Ball universe into a new format that really hasn't been done before. We'll no doubt talk about the Minecraft world again soon, but in the meantime, take a dive into Euphoria's video clip below, with photos and annotations from Woodes who takes us behind-the-scenes of the clip's creation:
Woodes' Euphoria video, behind-the-scenes:
We shot this music video just south of Ballarat on a property in Victoria. I hadn’t been outside my house, except for socially distanced food shopping, so it was really exciting to be able to work with a creative team again. I walked away from the shoot with a dopey grin, grateful to be able to work on a shared vision.
Emily Dynes (Director) and I had been in conversations about a music video from earlier in the year. The music video originally had a plan for a large fight scene and over 30 extras + crew. We wanted to do a battle that incorporated dance and symbolism from the other tracks on the record. Since the initial idea got put on the backburner, we kept checking in with each other almost weekly throughout the first lock down, trying to work out creative ways to still work together from isolation to bring the song to life.
It seemed like everytime we went to confirm a plan, everything changed. We managed to find a window, where we could have 20 people working in one space. But then the day before the shoot it rained. Really rained. It felt like once more, the plan had to change, but we powered through! Instead our shoot day was foggy and only light rain came in in the afternoon.
Emily envisioned the whole clip in one single take. And not only that, but in blue hour, AFTER sunset, but before dark. It just means everything had to work in the 20 minutes of time we’d be shooting, so we got prepared.
Emily worked with Sian Kelly (Choreographer), Jayden Wall & Lukas White (Dancers) ahead of time, to bring the movement to life, sending me video updates of the warriors. On shoot day we rehearsed over and over to get the timing right, and place me in position, in the different locations, making sure Jayden & Lukas were out of shot in set parts, and the composition was framed properly. At one point they light sparklers, so you have to allocate time for the lighting of the sparklers!
In the rain break, Nadine Muller did hair and makeup. It was Nadine’s first job back since the lockdown, she’s done all of my shoots around the record & I feel so lucky having her on this one. She’s a wizard. Also joining me was Mads Colvin on styling, who has done a lot of creative direction work with me on this album. For this video she created the custom white dress & cape in 4 days, adding embroidery too. She also made the warrior looks.
During the time we were rehearsing & getting ready, Pernell & her creative team were working their magic on the set. It was a massive space to decorate, factoring in the length of the song/walk one-take, they brought in a broken wooden boat, installed it and covered it in moss, they made tents, lit campfires, painted, attached little seedlings to the trees and created a dystopian background with fences, wood palings and iron orbs.
The opening shot. For the entire one take music video, the director Em, Cinematographer Alice Stephens and a majority of the production team had to hide behind a specific tree, out of any camera shot (trickier than one would think!) whilst steadicam operator Hannah Palmer walked backwards in front of me, guided by Sarah Ricupito, so she didn’t miss a step. We had to dodge trees, walk in uneven bushland, and then on top of it, the mud was very present.
We rehearsed until we got the perfect light, then ran the entire choreographed video over and over. We got 4 full run throughs, stopping when it got too dark to trek through the woods.
In a tiny window, my friend from Townsville, Elijah Clarke, took these photos. He had about 3 minutes, as we couldn’t lose light. In the dress detailing, hand embroidered by Mads, you can see the two swords that tie into the minecraft realm. The closing shot of the music video is walking into the album work. The other symbols in the clip, such as the boat, the moths, the seedlings & the campfires will all make more sense soon….
I always do a wrap photo, this one feels like the most surreal. Everyone was spaced 1.5 meters apart, staggered. It was too dark to see in front of you and Elijah took the shot, with a massive flash. We did it!
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