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Song You Need to Know: Nat Vazer, ‘Higher Places’

Featuring a music video inspired by the works of David Lynch, Nat Vazer has crafted an intoxicating experience like no other with “Higher Places”

Benjamin Joel*

It’s been a long time coming, but late last month finally saw the release of Is This Offensive and Loud?, the debut album from Melbourne musician Nat Vazer.

A powerful record which has seen the support community radio around the country, whether it be by a playlist add or a feature album, Vazer has undoubtedly created one of the year’s most immersive releases.

Now, Vazer has offered up the clip to her latest single, the dreamy “Higher Places”. While the track is already a masterful piece of hazy indie instrumentation fronted by Vazer’s intoxicating vocals, the clip sees the mood taken to another level thanks to its David Lynch influences and enticing visuals.

“The clip was filmed at Manorism studios which used to be a theatre in the 1940s and 50s,” Vazer explains of the clip, which was directed by her partner, Benjamin Joel. “We wanted to capture the essence of a past-time for this video so I thought the studio would suit that, and it was also pretty versatile which was handy for all the different scenes.

“We filmed the clip over a 9 hour day but most of that time was actually spent on constructing the set, playing around with different ideas and working out the lighting situ.

“There’s this theme of otherworldliness and play with light and dark which has been very much influenced by David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. But the idea of the smokey haze, the silhouettes and having an old phone and TV on set is also taken from the neo-noir film Lost Highway which is a classic Lynch film.

“As we were in isolation, the filming was a slow process with only two of us. We also had a limited budget so all our props were secondhand and picked up from Facebook Marketplace and hard rubbish. It was a very DIY approach – we used zip ties, a metal rod and cut up fabric to make curtains.”

Behind the scenes of the filming of Nat Vazer's "Higher Places" video clip.

Behind the scenes of the filming of Nat Vazer’s “Higher Places” video clip.

“The film clip was recorded during isolation,” adds Joel. “So we had a small budget, limited resources and we also had to build our own set. We had to try and create a vast, ethereal landscape and create many locations using one studio space.

“To achieve that, we had to dress up the set in different ways. We threw in extra lighting and borrowed a smoke machine from friends at Lulie Tavern in Abbotsford. They told us we had to get our own ‘rave juice’. We didn’t know what that was so we went and got regular smoke machine juice from a local music shop.”

The end result is as special as the single itself, and just as unique, with the feeling of neo-noir and surrealism flowing through in such a way that would make even David Lynch himself take a few notes for Twin Peaks‘ fourth season (fingers crossed).

To support the release of her new album, Nat Vazer will also be performing a number of livestreams, including an appearance as part of the Leaps And Bounds music festival, and a full-band show via Rocksteady Records’ Instagram feed, amongst others. Check out all the details below.

Nat Vazer East Coast Album Launch Shows

Thursday, June 18th
Leaps and Bounds – Records and Refreshments segment (at Beer Mash)
Free event, with donations welcome, and proceeds split between artists
Watch via Rockhopper Records’ YouTube Channel and Facebook page

Saturday, June 20th
Small Time, Brunswick, VIC
Free event, with tickets available via Eventbrite. Donations welcome, with 100% of proceeds going to Nat
Watch via Small Time and Nat Vazer’s Facebook

Thursday, July 2nd
Music Farmers, Wollongong, NSW
Watch via Music Farmers’ Instagram account from 7:30pm

Wednesday, July 8th
Jet Black Cat, Brisbane, QLD
Watch via Jet Black Cat’s Instagram account from 7:30pm

Friday, July 10th
Album Launch
Rocksteady Records, Melbourne, VIC
Watch via Rocksteady Records’ Instagram account