Tulipomania presents ‘Shines On’, the latest animated audio-visual exploration from the Philadelphia-based art-rock duo in support of their latest album (their fifth to date) ‘Dreaming of Sleep’, released via Sursumcorda Records.
As the album’s third single, ‘Shines On’ continues the conceptual viewpoint of the album – embracing contradiction while inviting ambiguity. A light from long ago shines on in this paean to ambiguity, memory, and endurance.
Band members Tom Murray and Cheryl Gelover created, then modified and manipulated their original footage to produce this animated exploration of light and color. The final animation is composed of thousands of individual collages, augmented by bold swipes of pastel on the distressed and reconfigured surfaces of black paper.
“The song introduces ambiguity in its exploration of the energy of light. Who is the teller of the tale?” asks Cheryl Gelover. “We’re pretty pleased about that and we’re really happy with the way that the tuned, chorused background vocals resolved in the overall mix.”
Ever a signal of hope, guidance and fortitude, light appears here in many guises, from flashes of sunlight to the glow emitted by the pre-solid state digital age nixie tube numerical display and on everything reflected and refracted in it. Light scatters on images captured then collaged on torn paper fiber – illuminated again once filmed then viewed.
“Light from a great distance dances and reflects a memory of the past. Moving towards the future, carrying the past with it,” says Tom Murray. “We were able to embed a waltz-timed morse code message in the bridge of the song.”
Earlier, Tulipomania released the singles and accompanying videos for ‘Then and Only Then’, ‘You Had to Be There’ and a remix created by UK music legend Martyn Ware (Heaven 17, The Human League) and Charles Stooke, as featured on WIRE Magazine’s cover-mounted Wiretapper CD.
Over the years, Tulipomania’s music has been dubbed cult synth punks, glam-leaning, post-punk, art-rock and muscular chamber pop, but on this album, the duo was heavily immersed in electronic means of creation.
The new ‘Dreaming of Sleep’ album features cover artwork by Michael Speed, senior designer at Beggars Group London, and involves Executive Producer Howard Thompson, a record industry executive (Elektra, Island, Almo Sounds), renowned for discovering and working with such artists as Adam and the Ants, Billy Bragg, MC5, Mötorhead, PiL, Psychedelic Furs, Robyn Hitchcock, The Sugarcubes and Suicide, among others.
“The music and the animations of this album explore outrage, powerlessness and the knowing kind of sorrow that emerges from those states of mind – often in bursts of absurdity. Being aware of the ridiculous often feels like salvation,” says Cheryl Gelover.
Artistic, inventive and gorgeous, Tulipomania’s animated music videos have been featured in film festivals worldwide, with several showcasing their latest few videos as an official selection, including the Leeds International Film Festival (UK), StopTrik (Croatia, Poland), AniFilm (Czech Republic), Insomnia (Russia), Malatesta (Italy) and CutOut animation festival (Mexico), as well as earning an Honorable Mention at the Montreal International Animation Film Festival – Animaze and named as finalist af the Amarcort Film Festival in Fellini’s hometown.
Tulipomania also created animated music videos – ‘Hush’ and ‘Shock To The Body’ – for Cabaret Voltaire founder / frontman Stephen Mallinder in support of his solo album** ‘tick, tick, tick’ (out now via Dais Records**).