There’s compelling tension in Brenda Xu’s “Lovely Storm,” and it rises from the dark space between the song’s gentle beauty and its ominousness. Even as Xu’s voice is a smooth, burnished instrument, her using it to count up to eight only magnifies the song’s mounting anxiety. Xu accompanies herself on guitar and looped vocals, behind which a mournful violin stretches a slivery melodic line.
The music’s placid conflict is set in context by the video, a series of time-lapse landscape shots compiled by director Krists Veide superimposed by editor Rob Edmondson over footage of Xu. Storms roll, rain falls, light and darkness collide. Taken from Xu’s upcoming album Overflow, the whole package conveys a heavy mood—and City Arts is proud to premiere it today.
Watch it below and catch Xu’s album release party, with openers Tomo Nakayama and Shenandoah Davis, Friday at the Fremont Abbey.