Puerto Rican songwriter Angelica Allen, aka My Midnight Heart, pairs her darkly beautiful tune "Salome" with an alluring and mysterious video collage.
With its layered, reverb-drenched vocals and measured building of tension, "Salome" shows singer/songwriter Angelica Allen, aka My Midnight Heart, to have a visual mind when it comes to the construction of her music. As it turns out, these images aren't merely conjured up in the mind of the listener; as the video collages she compiles for her songs attest, she is an artist with a keen eye (and ear) for pairing her tunes to arresting visuals that enhance the music they back. Such is the case for the video collage to "Drown", which recently went up at Entertainment Weekly. What is arguably the best videographic realization of her music, however, is the murky and intoxicating collage for the track "Salome", which you can view below. As the name My Midnight Heart attests, this is a visual experience best viewed in the evening's wee small hours.
Allen tells PopMatters about her inspiration for the song: "I wrote this song over seven years ago about a failing relationship, and I've been sitting on it since then. It talks about that point where so much has happened that you pretty much hate that person, but at the same time you don't know how to live without them because that's the world you've known for so long.
"I'm taking on the character of Salome, who fascinates me. I've always been in love with the darkness and bizarre undertones in that story. However, I thought the song was too somber at first, and would be misconstrued as literal. It wasn't until my bassist and co-producer, Ben Campbell, reworked the tune to make it more of a dance-hall vibe that I felt like it was ready to release. It fits perfectly with 'Break' and contrasts nicely with the other softer side of the EP, 'Drown'".
She explains the video collage thusly: "I made the video collage so there could be another way to consume the song. Visuals have always been important to me in My Midnight Heart and I'm releasing a video collage for each of the four songs [on the EP].
"['Salome'] is meant to be completely mesmerizing and hypnotizing. I used the fish imagery because my mom told me once they have fish in dentist and doctor's offices to calm the patients in the waiting room. That idea of being soothed before something potentially terrible happens to you works nicely with the lyrical content of the song. Also, watching the Koi and the water undulating reminded me of a dance so that tied in nicely with Salome's story as well. Behind their graceful movements, the perspective shifts with different imagery. I wanted the viewer to be hypnotized but also slightly unsettled by undertones... it should feel like you're watching Salome dance."
My Midnight Heart has two EPs out in February 2015. The first, Drown, is out now; the second, Break, will be released on 17 February.
Photo of Allen by Shervin Lainez.