In their effort to craft an honest record—one that’s free of the digital transmogrifications and auto-tune trickery so commonplace in 2016- the Bay Area’s Silent Pictures sent the raw material of what would become their sophomore LP, Let It Begin, all over the world. The process began in 2014, close to home at California’s Sky Lab Studio with Tommy Dietrick, with the added boost of some legendary musical equipment—Dave Grohl’s Sound City Neve Board at Studio 606. Then, the raw tracks were handed over to sound mixers as close as San Francisco and as far as Glasgow, Scotland and Oslo, Norway, including Creation Records co-founder Joe Foster and Ricky Maymi (Brian Jonestown Massacre). They threw one more heavy hitter, Howie Weinberg (who lists the Clash, Nirvana and the Cure in his credits), in the mix for digital and vinyl mastering, and Let It Begin was born… sounding, the band hoped, no different than a Silent Pictures live show.
Today, Elmore is premiering the video for “Behind The Scenes,” a track from the recent release. Alexander Mann, the band’s lead vocalist, bassist, guitar player and keyboardist told us, “”Behind The Scenes” was shot as a Hitchcock murder mystery in the fashion of Wes Anderson. It wasn’t planned that way, it just sort of happened one day in my screen room. We, as a band, just started throwing out ideas of different scenes we could shoot, with no sort of idea of any plot other than it had to have a lot of scenes and that of course there were actions going on behind them. It was great fun. We were surprised that in fact the film unfolded into some sort of story in the editing process after all. We hope you enjoy the film and the track…”
The playful, DIY feel of the video comes across and pairs perfectly with the band’s own lo-fi indie sensibility, as fuzzy guitars and Dave Conrad’s sauntering drum beat are balanced by Christina Stanley’s insistent, soaring violin. Together with Mann’s breathy, wistful vocals, the track is laced with a psychedelic melancholy, but the band counters it by putting a cheeky twist on the murder mystery genre. They cleverly utilize the sliding screens of the performance space to literalize the echoing chorus; “I saw you there behind the scenes.”
Buy Let It Begin via Silent Pictures’ bandcamp, and watch “Behind the Scenes” below.