Mind and heart have a lot to process when coping with loss, which may lead to the seemingly cliché Walden-like wilderness journey to find oneself. These grim themes are at the core of Dommengang’s new video for “Her Blues”, off their debut record, Everybody’s Boogie, out May 19 on Thrill Jockey. The track is a lengthy drone of pulsing, spacy guitar, ominous picking, and weary, hallucinatory vocals. Both the tone of the vocals and the nature of the images convey the feeling of searching, attempting to fill the void of something or someone lost. Handheld camerawork takes us on a drive-turned-walk through scenic woodland clusters and clearings among a gorgeous mountainous landscape, bigger than life, instilling feelings of human smallness. Bellowing red smoke follows an unnamed male protagonist, suit-donned, as though coming from a funeral, as he travels further into the woods towards dusk. Images of fire enter and exit in flickering shots as frantic and blighted as fire itself, eventually swirling in dreamlike surrealism.
“The lyrics came from a dream,” frontman Sig Wilson notes, “a very lucid one, I remember the feelings more than anything. A man has lost his wife. He walks his property/farm thinking of her and, as night falls, is visited by her ghost. He may or may not pass into the afterworld and see her at these times.” The protagonist sits fireside, strumming an acoustic guitar beside flurrying embers. In the track, a psychedelic solo encapsulates the solemn mood. In the moon-bath, images meld into one another. When dawn arrives, the man is left standing by a river.