Premiere: Sleep Party People’s “The Missing Steps” Video

A surrealist, atmospheric exploration of love, transfiguration and cryopreservation

Captivation stands as a mark of true, substantial dream pop. More than eerie instrumentation and delicate melodies, musicians working in this genre (and tangentially) must truly capture the listener before taking them inward or upward, to sleep or to soar. Danish multi-instrumentalist Brian Batz does exactly this. With a new album on the way—which he has written, recorded, and produced entirely himself under the moniker Sleep Party People—Batz has shared “The Missing Steps.” Within the song, Batz calls upon natural forces—moon shine, a summer breeze, rain, dreams—but delivers a sonic experience from another world. It’s a love song, of course, but applicable to any two beings that could embrace the emotion. The video, premiering here today, emphasizes both the human and mystical. From contours of the body to stark mountainous landscapes, its universe is one both real and of nothing more than imagination.

To best understand the development of the visual language, we spoke with co-director Christina Amundsen. “I wanted to create a melancholic love story of two people becoming part of a mountain and growing together with nature in a parallel world,” she explains to CH. “I was inspired by Mount Olympus from Greek mythology and the old Greek gods,” she continues, before taking an unexpected turn. “But most parts of the idea were actually based on my newfound fascination of cryopreservation—people preserving their bodies in case technology in the future is developed enough to bring people back to life.” The video’s scenes of transformation do all of this: demonstrate love, the power of nature and the goal of transfiguration.

Animation director Adam Ryde Ankarfeldt co-directed the piece. He also developed the digital mountain landscape. “Together, with editor Sara Bøgh, we worked to merge the digital layer together with the ‘human’ layers,” Amundsen says. She concludes that this is as much an inner journey as it is an outward exploration. The dreaminess of the song plays between worlds, capturing that magic space between sleep and wakefulness. And the video runs in a beautiful parallel.

Sleep Party People’s Lingering, upon which “The Missing Steps” appears, will release 2 June on Joyful Noise Recordings

Video and images courtesy of Joyful Noise Recordings