Premiere: Notelle Shares New Video for “Sufjan Stevens” | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, July 5th, 2022  

Premiere: Notelle Shares New Video for “Sufjan Stevens”

New EP Nyctophiliac Out Now

May 27, 2022 Photography by Derrick Lipschitz
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Earlier this month, Nashville-based alt-pop singer/songwriter Notelle shared her debut EP, Nyctophiliac, meaning “lover of night and darkness.” After her building her name in the world of EDM and electronic music, Notelle in recent years has shifted into different direction, crafting industrial influenced alt pop. In keeping with the name of the record, the EP sees Notelle exploring moody industrial soundscapes and contemplative lyricism, all married to an ear for shimmering pop melody.

In addition to the EP, today Notelle has also shared a new visualizer for the record’s highlight, “Sufjan Stevens,” premiering with Under the Radar.

Though “Sufjan Stevens” shares a name with the celebrated singer/songwriter, the song itself is a far cry from Stevens’ wispy indie folk. Instead, Notelle’s latest work brims with intensity and drama, full of gnarled guitars, clattering electronics, pop gloss, and soaring choral harmonies. Lyrically, the track sees Notelle meditating on her identity as a person and as a creative, all the while struggling not to find her own being subsumed into others’ expectations一“Me, me, me, myself and lies / Oh so troubled Gemini / I can change my face a hundred times / Oh so troubled Gemeni.”

Notelle says of the song, EP, and video:

This song represents so much for me! It was the first time I took a serious leap of faith in my writing. Before this, most of my songs have been relationship-driven. Topically, they’ve been about love, sex, and the trauma I’ve found with both of those things. “Sufjan Stevens” is the first time I took the other players OUT of the song and really looked IN.

I’m a Gemini and I struggle with my identity constantly. What does it mean to have anxiety? What does it mean to be a creative? What does it mean to have sexual trauma and still have a desire to connect with someone through that? Everyone is complicated. Everyone has multiple faces they wear, but I often find the “social chameleon” part of me forces my true self to hide behind certain masks without even realizing it. Then I feel isolated when I don’t feel true connection or true understanding. It’s a prison of my own design and “Sufjan Stevens” was my way of processing that externally.

My hope is that listeners can identify with one or more of the archetypes laid out in the song. It’s full of literary references. I’m a huge bibliophile, and it was a fun challenge to make sure each character got properly represented when they only we’re allowed four lines each.

Partnering with Talia [Stewart], I knew she’d take a fun twist on this song with a visualizer. The EP is called “Nyctophiliac,” meaning “lover of night and darkness,” so we wanted to make sure each visualizer embraced that element of the work while having its own personality. The video for “Sufjan Stevens” isn’t complicated. It’s dark, it’s a little disorienting, and it’s energetic. We’re so excited to share it with you!

Director Talia Stewart says of the video:

I’ve admired Notelle’s artistry and brand for ages and finally getting to collaborate with her was such an honor. When discussing her EP’s visuals, we agreed that capturing the incomparable energy she brings at her live shows was a priority. If you’ve ever seen Notelle live, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. Her movements, lighting, and heart-stopping bass are a few characteristics we wanted to highlight with these visuals. I was also thrilled at the idea of making each of them lyric videos, especially in light of Notelle‘s recent International Songwriting Competition win with “Sufjan Stevens”. We chose to stay within a deliberately limited color palette of white, black, red and blue. Thematically, all the visuals are representative of Notelle‘s “nightmare” sonics. It was such a blast watching these come to life! Notelle‘s industrial, cinematic dark pop was the perfect sonic landscape for me to direct to. Such a treat.

Check out the song, video, and EP below.


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