Skullcrusher shares videos for two new singles: “They Quiet the Room” and “Quiet the Room”
Calm the room Released October 14 via Secretly Canadian
August 18, 2022
Photography by Angela Ricciardi
Skullcrusher (Helen Ballentine, singer and songwriter based in Los Angeles) has shared videos for two new singles, “They Quiet the Room” and “Quiet the Room”. These are the latest releases from his upcoming debut album, Calm the room, which will be released on October 14 via Secretly Canadian. See the videos below.
In a press release, Ballentine said, “‘Quiet the Room’ is the first song I wrote for the album even though I didn’t know it yet. It was like opening a secret door to a new world. I wrote it on the piano I grew up with and inevitably felt the presence of my childhood self. That would stay with me throughout the disc creation process.
“In simple terms, the song is about communication and isolation, the kind a child experiences that influences their journey into adulthood. I was thinking of my childhood bedroom but also of an unfamiliar room, surreal and empty but for the weighted presence of unsaid. The basis of the recording is a live performance I did at Dreamland Studios in Woodstock, NY. From this take we added field recordings and room ambience (crickets, creaks, doors opening and closing, footsteps, etc.) It wasn’t until a year later that I revisited the song as the start of this album.
“I had the idea of writing an alternate version of the song with different chords on the guitar. This version, ‘They Quiet the Room’ became a completely different song. It changed the tone of the lyrics and instead from a dark room, I imagined playing outside during the day, lost in a fantasy world. The two together, “They Quiet the Room” en “Quiet the Room”, are like the passage of a day. being that we spent our childhood inventing imaginary games outside before going inside to have dinner, to cross a sort of barrier at nightfall, to have dinner or to sit alone at the piano.
Speaking about the creation of the music videos, she adds, “The video for ‘Quiet the Room’ came together at the last moment, but so right. A kind of childhood sanctuary, we spent much of the process arranging my personal tchotchkes into an intricate still life. We decided that I would draw throughout the video and it would add movement and intimacy to an otherwise still composition. While we were working we thought of the Walter Wick classic I spy books, computer games by Nancy Drew Silken and I both grew up playing (and still play) and the notion of collecting “treasure” as a child. Shot on a digital camera, we wanted to contrast the crisp exterior captured in “They Silence the Room” with a warm, candlelit, homelike interior. Through the window we see a deeply personal moment, a moment that I felt like I had experienced before, alone but surrounded by objects that I took with me.
Art Director Silken Weinberg adds, “Helen and I love good quests, so we set off for the forest, where the land meets the sea. We wanted to revisit the feeling of playing outside all day, in your own fantasy world, then having to go inside, either for dinner or to sleep. It felt oddly appropriate to convey this state of pretending in an ultra vivid and hyper-realistic way; an attempt to explore how your unseen fantasies manifest physically and are witnessed by the outside world.
Support under the radar on Patreon.