[Cover photo credit to Chuck Przbyl]
Chicago-based outfit Michelles has recently released their third album The Empty Promises of Rock and Roll. Along with the release, Michelles has also shared a visual companion to the track “Magical Thinking.” The video consists of two sets of found footage from the 1970s spliced together in a dramatic, and often alternately comical and haunting way, to create a kind of psychological narrative.
Michelles’ songwriter, vocalist, and instrumentalis Michael Daly expains:
The video for ‘Magical Thinking’ came together in the darkest days of the pandemic, with everyone trapped inside and unable to do collaborative work. I’d seen a lot of found footage type videos that managed to convey new ideas when they were decoupled from their original sources, so I started fishing around for something that piqued my interest. Two short films from the early seventies stood out, and with a bit of editing it turned into a little story about escaping from our increasingly banal realities. The song itself was written before everything went to hell, but it all of a sudden had a disturbing prescience, referring to the desire to substitute your own reality despite all evidence to the contrary, and the sometimes detrimental effects of news and information overload.
The Empty Promises of Rock and Roll marks the first collection of new music Michelles has released since 2017’s Dark As A Daisy. It’s an album “about all of the usual things; love and loss and change and regret, moving away, staying put, book reviews and a half- remembered New Yorker articles”.