Prettybird directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard direct the British actress in ‘The Dazzler’ promo ahead of Elena Tonra’s debut solo album release
Elena Tonra from Daughter releases a music video for ‘The Dazzler’ under the name Ex:Re ahead of her eponymous debut album, which will be released on February 1st on vinyl and CD.
Directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard (creators of Daughter’s triptych of videos for their second record Not To Disappear), the video imagines ‘The Dazzler’ as the hotel depicted in Tonra’s lyrics and places the magnificent British actress Maxine Peake languishing alone in one of its rooms (with cameo appearances from Tonra and Ex:Re collaborator Fabian Prynn).
Iain and Jane directed the music video with executive producers Juliette Larthe & Ted Thornton (Prettybird), producer Hannah Bellil and DoP Ben Magahy.
The directing duo were inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic movie ‘Vertigo’, and ‘The Dazzler’ is infused with a similarly muted colour palette. Shot in The Town Hall Hotel in London’s East End, the style of the music video evokes a Hollywood motel room, where the directors create a vignette of the heroine on her own spiralling inward journey.
Talking about the video, Iain and Jane explain, “Elena told us The Dazzler was a real place, but we wanted to transform it into a hotel of the mind. That lost, sedated limbo you get stuck in when you can’t get over your last relationship. With a colour palette borrowed from Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’, our hotel room becomes a kaleidoscopic vision of a world stuck in an endless loop. Swimming in regret and drowning in thick alcohol.
Elena appears in the video filtered through the ubiquitous hotel television. This isn’t the first time we’ve boxed a ghostly Elena inside a screen. This idea is a gentle but knowing nod back to the first ever Daughter video, which we directed in 2013. It’s still a real treat to be providing a visual accompaniment to Elena’s dazzling words and music.”
Running parallel to Daughter, Tonra has assumed the pseudonym Ex:Re (pronounced ex ray) for her eponymously-titled debut solo album, a deeply personal record that was made with both a sense of urgency and a cathartic need.
Tonra’s candid solo songs document the time after a relationship ended and are written like unsent letters. Taking on a creative moniker, she chose Ex:Re to mean ‘regarding ex’ and also ‘X-Ray’ as a way to look inside and see what is really there. Writing took a year but the recording process lasted mere months, turning to Fabian Prynn (4AD’s in-house engineer and producer) and composer Josephine Stephenson on cello to help bring Ex:Re to life. Ex:Re are currently in Japan with fellow labelmates Deerhunter and Gang Gang Dance, and will announce further headline shows shortly.