Yesterday the new video for Bellows's "Rosebush" was premiered at Talkhouse alongside an extensive, wonderfully in-depth conversation between Oliver Kalb (Bellows) and Lillie West (Lala Lala). The pair's conversation touched on creative processes, songwriting, and their shared affinity for the band Why?. Enjoy the video below with a few words from Oliver about the origins of "Rosebush."
Bellows will be on tour this summer with Gabby's World, which will include a rare run of west coast dates. Make sure to mark your calendars!
"The song "Rosebush" is basically about being an artist," explains Oliver Kalb, frontperson and principal songwriter of the project known as Bellows. As with much of Kalb's recent record, The Rose Gardener, "Rosebush" explores the doubled-edges of artmaking, revealing uncomfortable self-truths in pursuit of beauty and happiness. Kalb elaborates on this concept as "a big romantic extended metaphor about pursuing beauty despite the pain it can bring — I'm chasing this rose monster through the woods, trying my hardest to get to it, but it's kind of unattainable. At the end of the video I just become a rose myself, a creature indistinguishable from the inspiration I'm trying to chase."
Directed by Dan Shure of Charly Bliss, the video follows Kalb's portrayal of his album's eponymous character and a sentient rosebush. Inspired in part by the characters of Noel Fielding, the rosebush character is meant to "tread a line between being funny and being sort of horrifying."
Having always admired Charly Bliss for making theatrical, narrative-led music videos, pairing up with Dan Shure was the perfect opportunity to capture this sort of fun, larger-than-life energy that could act as a further extension of the central metaphor of "Rosebush," encapsulating the complicated intersections of inspiration and output. As Kalb confesses, "it can feel that way to be an artist sometimes, like after you fall deeply into art for enough time, there's no essential person you are anymore outside of your relentless pursuit of something beautiful or meaningful."
Ultimately, this pursuit may boil down to a persisting sense of childlike wonderment with the world, chasing sensations as they come and go, growing simply through trial and error. Perhaps this is what Kalb alludes to in the coda of "Rosebush," singing, "like a child I need these roses / though thorns enclose them / I reach out my hand and try to hold."