Earlier this week, our man Joe Williams talked to Black Whales' frontman Alex Robert about "Elephant #2," a track off the band's most recent record, last year's Shangri-La Indeed (which you can listen to in full on Bandcamp).
"Elephant #2" is a slow-boiling track, led by Robert's echoing vocals and a tangle of reverbing guitar lines; it churns with anxiety and yearning. It also happens to be the song that the band recently shot a music video for--the clip was directed by Reverb's good friend Bobby McHugh, who did a marvelous job of capturing the song's loose, psychedelic atmosphere and translating that into some colorful imagery, on a budget that he described to me as "less then what the average person in Belltown spends on their winter coat."
McHugh and his crew show "Elephant #2" at Black Whales' practice space inside a 100-year-old SoDo warehouse. The video depicts the band drinking and playing cards at a party as Robert detaches into a fugue state apart from his company and goes a little crazy--becoming the "elephant in the room" that the song refers to--eventually becoming haunted by visions of black-hooded figures and a group of creepy children in animal masks. The flickering lights, the sinister-looking extras, and the spacey imagery all fit the weird, despondent mood of the song just perfectly.
Black Whales play Neumos tonight (8 p.m., $8) along with Us on Roofs and Seattle Weekly's Best Garage Band winners, Koko & the Sweetmeats.