By Charlie Maybee
Electro indie pop musician, Yify Zhang, is back with a lush new music video for “Hallelujah”. Pulling on the simultaneously emotive and spiritual strings of the song’s namesake, it takes on a haunting feel like an invisible entity keeps running a finger down your spine.
The video features a modern dancer performing gesturally driven movement in front of projected images of misty mountains, flocks of flying birds, deep forests, and more. The primary use of the hands makes the choreography feel sensual in nature to match the echoing, ethereal vocals of Zhang who appears only a few times with a ghostly piano, but there is something pained about the movement that seeps through each gesture.
Lyrically, she digs deep into the darkness, “I killed him off in the haze / I didn’t blink until it was over / Just before I heard the church bells ring”. Murder is something that one might not expect this musical confessional box, but as she sings out “He bled all over my face / And when I cleaned it off in the bathroom / Went to Sunday service singing… / Hallelujah” the titular final word repeats throughout the chorus with a deeply remorseful tone.
As the video progresses, warmer lights start to break through the mist giving us a glimpse of sunshine in an otherwise dim, gray landscape, but it is not permanent. The darkness persists, and perhaps that is something Zhang will have to live with. There is a lesson to be gleaned here about the ephemeral, fluid nature of morality and how it changes to meet certain moments. But like everything else in the music video, it shifts and fades quickly leaving us with nothing but a feeling of unease as the dancer continues to wrestle with Shakespearean spot of blood upon her hands.
“Hallelujah” is available on major streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. The accompanying music video is also available on YouTube. Find this and more great music on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify and YouTube.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
Join the Alchemical Records Street Team to promote these and other artists, live music, and music community organizations & events while receiving cool perks from artists throughout the region.
Flow-bending artist aSanTIS discusses art, culture, and whether sound can solve the world’s problems in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
My interview with Amy Santis aka aSanTIS began in the most unexpected way. The Maryland-based flow-bending artist and lyrical storyteller came prepared to engage in conversation around questions I had posed – and she also brought one or two of her own thoughtful prompts based on her curiosities around my view of learning.
This practice of taking in her surroundings deeply through observation and inquiry has come naturally to aSanTIS ever since she was a young child. In terms of her early starts in music, she notes that she began as a discerning listener. “Just listening to music from my mom, on the radio, just being a consumer in the world of sound. But I think mainly, my mom has always loved dancing and listening to music, so that was sort of like second nature. We play music at gatherings, we play music in the car, and these songs are sort of like diaries that take us into a specific place.”
Recent Articles Jimmy T’s Place launches on all major platforms Oct 6 True to form, dirty shirt rock n’ roll band One Way Out, originally