VIDEO PREMIERE | Pictorial Candi, "Star Gel"

A Pictorial Candi portrait; press photo courtesy of the artist and Lucia Nieto Salazar.

A Pictorial Candi portrait; press photo courtesy of the artist and Lucia Nieto Salazar.

Warsaw-based pop star Pictorial Candi, aka Candelaria Saenz Valiente, creates audio arts according to cosmic and avant-garde inspirations. Announcing the new album The Secret Salts arriving June 17 via Mansions & Millions (Berlin) and Nicey Music (L.A.), Candi debuts the galaxy shimmering single “Star Gel” accompanied with a grand visual. Self-directed and edited by Valiente with cinematographer Lucia Nieto Salazar, color provided by Aleksander Makowski, with effects by Mario Campos; the sounds and visions of the song oscillate between the supernatural senses of the ethereal and ephemeral that bridge connections to artifices of the material and mortal states of being.

“Star Gel” sparkles with that hypnagogic splendor that consumed the post-oughts DIY crazes that saw independent imprints and upstarts aspiring to make the smoothest sounds of all time. The serene synth composition dovetails neatly with the feathery bassoon provided by Sarah Addud alongside Michal Kupicz’ mixing/mastering that makes for the feeling of floating in an out-of-body experience above time, space and sentiment. In Candelaria’s own words on the song:

The song is about time being a solid (everything is jelly) and a particular melancholy way to live/die/fall into it.

Pictorial Candi takes the senses of the beholder down low-lit dark, arboreal roads to her family’s homestead in Uruguay. The perspective glides gracefully through the forest grove roads that lead the audience through the gates to an exquisite estate. Salazar's camera sweeps around the entrance and premises before leading the viewer into the house during the insomniac hours of night. Featuring cameos from family and friends, the breathtaking views of the decadent summer residence are shown in conjunction with the ennui of everyday chores (from lawn mowing, grooming, moments of leisure and pensive thought) where motifs of time, maturation and the entire spectrum of life are celebrated in an elaborate presentation of performance and procedurals. The hovering and panning motions of the video’s perspective match PC’s otherworldly (and unpredictably idiosyncratic) style of fashion that edifies pensive conscious streams with dramatic portraits of the absurd and sensual. Blending styles of the archaic, exotic, vintage, candid and endearing, the visual’s penultimate moment concludes with a wide-eyed group meeting at a mystic pool on the property that emanates with a glowing light that speaks to dimensions beyond the life and death continuum.

Candelaria Saenz Valiente of Pictorial Candi shared the following thoughts on making of the video:

Visualizing “Star Gel”:

I shot the video 2 years ago in my family's summer home in Uruguay. My mother's side of the family is Usher, and just like in Poe's story The Fall of the House of Usher, decadence and transcendence are inextricably linked. It's somehow metaphysical when the history of a name correlates with real people's destiny, this stronghold feels mysteriously logical. The only difference is that our point of view is placid instead of dreary or tetric. I shot the video before writing the music to it. It’s about time being a solid, motionless and forgotten like reclinable chairs stacked in a room. The way my family lives when they're together on these long geriatric holidays, with the walls literally falling down, is also how they die or fall; roaming rooms as if they were shared mental spaces; in a haze or pool of hiperawareness, magnifying glass in hand; more like a dream than reality.

Into the woods with Pictorial Candi; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Into the woods with Pictorial Candi; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Reflections on the creation of The Secret Salts:

Seems like you got to have sadness to sustain happiness. Otherwise you’d burn, consumed by joy. It’s perhaps a natural instinct and that may be why at times it feels so out of our control, because to a great measure, instincts are out of our control. But when this bulk of sadness grows out of proportion, well then, it’s good to have a plan. My plan was to put all the pain in a sort of snow globe and get it away from me, far, to be reminisced and seen at a distance as something beautiful. It worked like a charm and like most charms, it fed on feelings. So here’s a charm that may work for your teenage mind with an absorption of excess at 95% and a bonus of sweet nerdy harmonies, Hal Hartley counterpoints and other more obscure musical and literary appreciations. Is this still dream pop? Gimme a call if you wanna talk.

Pictorial Candi’s new album The Secret Salts will be available June 17 via Mansions & Millions / Nicey Music.

Catch PC and band (Ben Anderson and Magnus) on tour this fall in Europe.