Welcome to a whole new year of music videos here at Rocks Off. Last year had some of the best we've ever covered, so there's a high bar set for 2013. Let's start strong with Why? and a cut from their upcoming 7-inch Waterlines. Directed by Erika Ochoa, this is "The Water You Walk." Singer Yoni Wolf penned this strange underground, indie, and somewhat cabaret piece for a lady.
"We had been sort of dating for a couple of months previous, and I wanted to take it a bit to the next level when Christmastime rolled around," says Wolf. "I wrote this song for her and sent it to her father's house [where she was visiting] for Christmas.
"I think it worked sort of," he adds. "A couple months later, I wrote another song for her birthday and that seemed to clinch things a little more."
It's an odd, plaintive holiday tune that Ochoa brings to life in a bizarre and bleak coastal winter. A somber man played by Beck DeRobertis -- who is actually a close enough resemblance to Wolf that I had to get confirmation it wasn't him actually starring in the video -- forlornly rows a boat across a fog-shrouded lake towards a dead wood.
There, he trudges barefoot through the barren trees in search of strange white-clad goddesses played by Rosa Simone, Mary Corradi, and Liesbet Hartog. Though the troika is a pretty lot, each one bears some sort of fantastical mask or other adornment that clearly sets her from humans.
"The song and the lyrics have a romantic feel and I knew I wanted to play on that but not in a typical way," says Ochoa. "The winter/forest spirits were inspired by the song having a kind of ceremonial feel to it as well. The opening lyrics being 'Oh, what an honored man am I, that these eyes might see you tonight' made me think of these special beings that he could go on a journey to see.
"When setting out to create the costumes for the woman to wear we wanted them to have a 'other worldly' feel and in a loose way they each represent a different aspect of loving," she adds.
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Wolf may have sought simply to turn the heart of a beau towards him with a little bit of audio magic, but I feel that Ochoa uses the video to bring out an even deeper meaning. The bare feet, the journey across water, and DeRobertis' sad yet hopeful gaze all add up to a moment of exultation sought in the name of some hidden sect. He's a penitent looking for a connection so far and above base Earth that he's willing to brave anything.
Ochoa picked a good line for inspiration, I'll give her that. On the other hand, she couldn't have missed the beauty and truth of the line "I don't dare to stare at you or lose my sight and tear my hair out like some saint that's faced the face of God." Overall, the video maintains a single-minded purity of purpose to offer devotion in the form of love, and attempt to gain salvation.
Christmas may be over, but the time of winter festivals is still upon us. "The Water You Walk" calls to older forces. Check it out below.