Multidisciplinary creative Annie Hamilton returns to RUSSH with the film premiere of her debut single, Fade. Originally conceived during a drive through NSW’s Snowy Mountains region, Hamilton wanted to the video to feel “as if I was staring into a mirror. It’s quite confronting in its self-awareness, it feels almost voyeuristic to watch as I unbutton my shirt while making eye contact with the camera. I approached filmmaker Tatjana Hamilton and she was keen to collaborate, so we filmed it in my bedroom one sunny afternoon in January.” Captured on Super 8 footage, the short is a tender accompaniment to a song anchored in loss and desperation – a sonic slow burn that builds to a pleading crescendo, “This time is different, make me safe again”. Here, Hamilton shares her inspirations behind the film, her love of analogue technology and all that’s on her horizon for 2019.
Tell us about your debut single Fade …
Fade is centred around the idea of trying to move on and trying to forget. They say that it will fade, but I’m still waiting – it’s about that gnawing feeling of loss and desperation, like an intense, almost physical pain that you just can’t get away from. The song itself is very simple, it’s just three chords and a repetitive melody, but it swells and builds with layers of distorted, fuzzy guitars and synths.
How did the idea for the film come about?
I had the concept for this video rolling around in the back of my head for a long time – I first thought of it on a long drive in the Snowy Mountains where I was working on the song a couple of years ago. I knew that the video had to be simple and direct to complement the song, rather than trying to create some kind of overcomplicated narrative. I liked the idea of it being centred around the action of drawing lines across one’s chest – a repetitive and meditative action – to encapsulate the sense of trying to do something, anything, that can help distract you from what you’re experiencing. It felt like a strange and private ritual, sitting down and creating these marks on my body but then covering them up under a clean, white collared shirt, like hiding a chaotic piece of yourself behind an outward projection of calm and order. I wanted the video to feel as if I was staring into a mirror – it’s quite confronting in its self-awareness, it feels almost voyeuristic to watch as I unbutton my shirt while making eye contact with the camera. I approached filmmaker Tatjana Hamilton and she was keen to collaborate, so we filmed it in my bedroom one sunny afternoon in January.
What drew you to working with Super 8 film?
I have a huge appreciation for analogue technology. I love shooting on film – I love the tactility of it, feeling that mechanical click of the shutter and imagining the light being captured and recorded onto the film. Super 8 film was a very natural choice for video. It felt like a raw and honest way of recording the performance – we only had one roll of film and we had to record it all in one take. Aesthetically it is so beautiful – the crackles, the imperfections, the way it captures the flickering light streaming through the window. It also felt very apt as a lot of this song was recorded to tape – so the song and video both have an analogue element running through them.
What else is coming up for you this year?
I have a few gigs coming up, including opening for Julia Jacklin’s NSW shows, and then I’ll be releasing my next single which I am simultaneously terrified and excited to share. I’m also writing and recording as much as I can – I have a stack of works-in-progress which I’ll be finishing and releasing over the next few months, working towards an album.
23rd Feb – Secret Garden Festival
28th Feb – Good Name @ Freda’s
5th March – UOW Unibar, Wollongong, with Julia Jacklin
6th March – ANU, Canberra with Julia Jacklin
15th March – Metro Theatre, Sydney with Julia Jacklin
16th March – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle with Julia Jacklin