VIDEO PREMIERE | The Parlor, "Trust"
Celebrating the one year year anniversary of their album Kiku; Jen O'Connor and Eric Krans, aka The Parlor, unveil the grand debut of the "Trust" visual directed by the couple with cinematography by Nate Simms. Creating synergistic hymns of catharsis and healing, The Parlor's pop odes to the processes of time and understanding loss are witnessed like a winter's thaw that brings about new shared sensations and realizations that uplift the human spirit to new heights of unbreakable love.
The abstract visual soars above snow covered hills and glaciers as far as the eye can see. Fragmented images of Jen and Eric's face are seen superimposed over kaleidoscopic film edits of the moving icy images. The Parlor's duet lifts off the arpeggio synthesizer sequence like rushing washes of wind and hushed lullabies that sing softly and sweetly straight from the most sublime and guarded sections of the heart. The audio/visual experience makes for an experience like gently floating above the arctic, observing the vast expanses of the polar ice caps while examining the visceral emotional corridors and empty rooms of the soul's interior dwellings. Nate's camera work coupled with Jen and Eric's arrangements and editing allow the audience to witness the wonder of renewal that arrives after the processes of weathering the gravity of grief, as the cycles of nature and testaments of time provide new opportunities of growth and untold volumes of newfound wisdom.
Jen & Eric from the Parlor shared the following about the powerful ballad “Trust”:
"Trust" is the finale of Kiku. It’s the final piece in the requiem, the icy alien landscape of the before-life. "Trust" is the story of two people continually forced to revisit this bleak and magical place, struggling to combine themselves ("half yours / half mine"), trying to escape their frozen purgatory. Love, longing, hope, and despair hang in the air, trapped by the cold -beautiful and haunting. The thaw feels certain, the ice melting, the energy shifting, life-giving water flowing and guiding existence through to the other side. The outcome is both certain and uncertain. “Trust in love and time,” because they both destroy doubt. When our most innate of shared dreams refuse to come true, as the ice cracks beneath us, as the earth vanishes, the bonds of trust and love spirit us away.
In spite of the fact that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 1 in 8 couples experience infertility, both topics are still taboo even in our increasingly #metoo oriented society. Women who share their stories of sexual assault are not only accepted, but rightly saluted. And yet, stories of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility remain rare in spite of their prevalence. Kiku was an attempt to shine a light on this completely natural, wholly isolating, and often devastating experience.
When we were writing Kiku, we felt a little stuck in this privacy/grief spiral. We were also trying to stay positive, to keep on keeping on. It was not going to derail our dreams. Like most people, we had thought that starting a family would be easy. You’re taught that if you aren’t careful it’ll just happen, but our experience was the opposite. And once we dug around a little we found a community of people who were open about their experience. There’s an Instagram handle called @IHadaMiscarriage which was hugely influential/inspirational. There are others who had the courage to make art from their failed birth experiences; Frida Kahlo is one of them. We felt like we should be expressing our pain, and creating art as therapy. We also maintained our faith in each other. Our love for one another grew deeper and wider, and we continued to try to start a family, right on through the writing process of Kiku. “Trust” is a song about trying. It’s sexy because life creation is sexy. Eric listened to a lot of Catherine Wheel growing up and there’s a little of that romantic shoegaze haze in “Trust.” Their albums Chrome and Ferment remain two of the sexiest rock albums of all-time. Jen listened to a lot of Fleetwood Mac as a girl and that kind of harmonizing, romantic, couples songwriting is in here too. It was additionally influenced by Jamie XX, Bonobo and Sigur Ros. The video imagery was wonderfully serendipitous. It felt like an interesting idea to cut our faces into geometric shapes over that alien fractal background (which is actually Icelandic footage shot by a cinematographer friend Nate Simms that we edited). We felt like we were creating a Picasso Cubist music video. It wasn’t until we watched it in its entirety that we realized we had created a metaphor for two people trying and failing to combine themselves into a new human.
And Kiku is turning one this week. For us it was/is a deeply personal concept record. Kiku, the Japanese word for chrysanthemum, began blooming in our farmhouse garden immediately following our second miscarriage and so became a symbol of our grief, despair, resilience and faith. Kiku grew into something we never anticipated. What started only as vague sounds or plucked songs grew unexpectedly into a kind of synth-folk chamber-pop. As we grieved, we wrote and as we recorded we felt ourselves reaching out across the plane of the living and the dead where we stumbled upon the tiny hand of the soul we lost. We brought a piece of her, of Kiku, back with us. She shared her spirit through the creation of her eponymous requiem.
Listen to more from The Parlor via Spotify.