SOLAK – “Untitled Cowboy” (Video Premiere)

Today I’m so excited to introduce everyone to a new Indie Lo-Fi artist, SOLAK, who will be releasing his debut single called “Untitled Cowboy” to all streaming services tomorrow. On this heartfelt song and video that showcases the depth of SOLAK’s sound, that fits somewhere in the realm of artists like Elliott Smith and Jack Johnson, SOLAK quickly cements himself as a key artist to watch. When speaking on his ability to write everything himself, this artist shared, “I still write on my own, and I obviously set some boundaries. But within that framework, the musicians are given the freedom to add their own personality. I enjoy that myself when I’m playing for someone else.” If you’re enjoying the new track, please consider pre-ordering his debut LP, Atlas, here. I was also able to catch up with this new artist for a brief interview below.

Can you talk more about the locations you chose to showcase in the music video for “Untitled Cowboy”? Where did you actually shoot and what’s the significance of the house and museum we see featured?

Great question! Actually the music video is “a day in the life” with a weird twist of story. The storyline has been written by my cousin, Victor Maillard. And my double is played by other cousin Simon Houthuys. So it became a family collaboration. On top of that we decided to shoot in the house of our grandmother. She moved out recently, and for us this house a place full of memories. We could finally be in every room (something we couldn’t do when we were kids!). I lied in her bed, and took a bath in her bathroom, a special experience for me. Knowing that it’s probably the last time we were about to be in the house. The videoclip became sort of a timestamp for our shared history. It adds an extra layer of emotion to the song for me.

The percussion in “Untitled Cowboy” has the same sort of distinct/homemade sound that the percussion on a Fiona Apple track might have. How did you go about writing and producing the percussion for this track?

Through the whole album actually we tried to look for the contrast between “bright” & “darkers” sounds. For me that’s often translated on a spectrum of saturation in sound. Steven (Van Gelder, the mixer) and me are a huge fan of the Latin playboys, Tchad Blake and Mitchell Froom, so I guess we went looking for that aesthetic.  In the song I needed some sort of “drive”, like a small train, but it had to be light and easygoing for a longtime. When a heavy bassdrum finally arrives you are happy to hear it :) All the parts are played by Olivier Penu. We recorded everything pretty high-end, in an amazing studio in Norway. That gave us a lot of headroom to move wherever we wanted sonically.

Would you explain some of the symbolism in the video for “Untitled Cowboy”? The video has an almost “Being John Malkovich” feel – both comedic and chilling. What did you want viewers to feel after watching it?

The storyline was written by my cousin Victor Maillard, and he went for an extra layer of a story. It’s dreamy, and not really clear and also eternal. The video is an eternal loop of me looking for me time after time. It might not be too obvious, but we wanted that vagueness. We tried to capture the fragility of the words, and the fact that the song is based on a dream. But as you said, we wanted it to be light and funny as well, bit of a Wes Anderson world. Thanks to the beautiful colors, created by Robbe Maes.