2020 will forever be the year that hit us all like a freight train and put the world on pause. For LUPA J, it was the year that inspired their greatest writing to date and today they release their final video of the year, Obliterate.
Last month LUPA J released their sophomore album To Breathe Underwater – a collection of pop and techno influenced tracks that became the soundtrack of an introspective journey through COVID, showcasing some of their most vulnerable writing to date. With each single, EP and album cover being self-designed and conceptualised, it’s no surprise that each single from the album has been released with its own striking video. Co-directed by LUPA J alongside Serena Siow Obliterate is an outstanding masterpiece, perfectly accompanying the track which has garnered playlist attention around the world.
“This year was the first time I’ve worked so collaboratively with other filmmakers on so many of my music videos,” tells LUPA J of the process. “Coming from a very DIY background of just going out in public and shooting things on a whim, guerrilla style, working on sets with 10+ person crews has been a huge learning experience for me. After making Limbo and Supermarket Riots with James Chappell, I decided I wanted to have a shot at directing a high concept clip myself with a similar level of ambition. I nutted out the storyline, and then Serena Siow (cinematographer on This Suburb) came on board to co-direct and shoot it for me, bringing a highly talented young crew with her to help bring my vision to life. Having no actual training in film myself, Serena was key to figuring out exactly how to make everything work while looking as beautiful & visually cohesive as possible.”
If you were lucky enough to see LUPA J’s album launch show last year you would have witnessed the brilliance of Discomorph and their in-crowd dance routine to Swallow Me Whole. The dance duo appeared in Supermarket Riots and have returned in Obliterate adding an energy that completely intensifies the clip, using choreography to express the internal battle that erupts after the realisation that a relationship may not be working.
“After working with dance duo Jake & Leilani (AKA Discomorph) on Supermarket Riots, I decided I wanted to base this entire video around a relationship dynamic between them and I, expressed through choreography. Obliterate is a song about recognising unhealthy patterns in your relationships, but not knowing how to help yourself, and part of you still being in denial. I wanted to evolve the clip around a push and pull ‘chase’ dynamic between me and the dancers, with them representing the part of me that is trying to save myself from pain – but I wanted it to be ambiguous as to whether or not they were helping me, as often the road to helping yourself feels most frightening.
Rather than using a specific person, I wanted what I was running after to be somewhat unclear, and to feel ‘unreachable’ – so we used white, ghostly, anonymous costuming to disguise who and what exactly it is I’m searching for. It’s come out feeling very religious cult-ish which was unintentional but definitely very fitting with the sinister vibe of the song!”