Vocalist Brodie Jenkins and multi-instrumentalist Johnny Hwin are Cathedrals, and you’ll want to take note of that name. The much-buzzed-about San Francisco electro-pop duo and 2014 Best of What’s Next picks, who first made their mark with their Cathedrals EP released that same year, have a new video out for their acclaimed recent single “Don’t Act Like a Stranger,” shared exclusively on Paste today. Take a look above.
The track is a powerful expression of contrasts—an ode to both “the heartsick and the heartbreakers,” as the band puts it—and the video, conceived and directed by Dillon Petrillo, conveys that dichotomy in dazzling fashion. Cathedrals hardly ever share the screen: Jenkins spends most of the clip immersed in a bathtub, the technicolor water shifting shades around her, while Hwin, his garb and guitar both black, lies flat on his back against a topsy-turvy black-and-white tile floor. The exhilaration of love and the isolation of loss coexist here, two sides of one coin.
Cathedrals spoke to the yin and yang of “Don’t Act Like a Stranger” in a statement:
After the flurry of our first EP tour, we retreated into our basement studio in two very different states of mind. While Johnny was watching a relationship begin to unravel, Brodie was culminating hers and tying the knot. There was a push and pull in that sadness and joy, a tension that colored our latest collection of songs.
That push and pull was key to the video’s making, as well. As Jenkins explains to Paste:
We filmed the video in the two spaces we inhabit the most; an old Victorian house, where we have a studio in the basement; and Johnny’s warehouse gallery space. The song is about estrangement, and we wanted the video to capture that. So in the video, the two of us never inhabit the same space. Even when we are, we’re at odds, on opposite sides of the room, and never making eye contact. It was actually kind of tough to shoot at times, because we’re so used to being side by side on stage or in our studio, always playing off of one another.
Cathedrals will be doing just that at a hometown show at Mezzanine on June 8—tickets are available here. Watch the “Don’t Act Like a Stranger” video above, listen to Paste Cloud audio from Cathedrals’ 2014 Daytrotter Session below and revisit Paste’s Best of What’s Next write-up on the band here. You can also get familiar with the rest of their catalog here, and follow along with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.