After a near death experience and a chance encounter with ’60s folk sensation Jerry Yester, NYC-based artist and musician Ziemba, recorded a cover of Yester and Henske’s 1969 cult masterpiece, “Rapture” – the video for the track recently made it’d debut Ziemba calls her “dance at death’s edge– my whimsical glance into the abyss.” The track is off Ziemba’s debut full-length Hope is Never, now out on Low & Behold.
The artist, whose real name is René Kladzyk, describes Yester and Henske’s work as “existing in a musical space located far outside of its time and the trodden terrain of planet Earth.” Her “Rapture” music video exudes the same feeling. Featuring flowing gowns designed by the singer herself, the video is a colorful ’60s wonderland mixed with Ziemba’s vision of the future-an existential, beautiful meditation on death.
Here’s a statement from Ziemba about the song, video, and her debut album:
“There’s a feeling of impossibility that accompanies nihilism. One that says that in order to observe the oppressive sadness of the world, there is no space for hope, mesmeric fantasy, or (that dirty word) reverence. This music video, and the entirety of my recent album, is completely fixated on death and grieving. Its a loving and euphoric attempt at locating hope through eternity, within the endlessness of existence and the constance of decay. It’s an active assault on the nihilistic worldview that pervades pop culture today. And this video expresses those feelings visually- the ecstatic joys of life and the transcendence of form in death. We struggle with the mingling of excitement at the mystery of existence, and the fear that that mystery holds. Most of this video is a depiction of the process of embracing fear; harnessing it and capsizing it within the force of your vitality.
And there is a fascination here too with the relationship between femininity, queerness, and violence. In casting myself as the grim reaper, I’m rewriting a power relationship embedded in every fairytale I ever loved. “She will betray you as she sings,” the song warns, and we abandon so-called empirical reality in favor of shadow and ephemera. Linear dichotomies of truth and lie, good and evil, black and white, give way to vibrant shades of scarlet and blue. The finite is replaced by the limitless. Pain and beauty, hope and despair, they’re all jumbled up! This femme Santa Muerte is a new kind of angel for a postmodern world.”
Hope Is Never
(Lo & Behold)
1) It Curls Itself
2) Phantom See
3) El Paso
4) Set Me As A Seal
5) With the Fire
7) Tiger Woman
8) Hope is Never
9) Hope is a Fold
10) Where Without
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