LA-based producer and songwriter Gabriel Brenner (aka PASTEL) just released a new video for his track “I Ache,” and it’s both intimate and compelling. It’s the first single from his upcoming self-released Bone-Weary EP, the follow-up to his debut It Will Be Missed EP (Manimal Vinyl, 2014). The vid was directed by Hobbes Ginsberg and produced by Chloe Feller for Red Lighter Films, and man, I really gotta compliment these people on their production quality. The inspiration, I’m told, was traditional portrait paintings of women, and the eerie lighting is awesomely dissonant in combination with a male replacement of the paint-me-like-one-of-your-French-girls trope. Anyhow, I’ll stop describing it and let you check out the track below.
Brenner’s musical inspirations for this track include Julianna Barwick and FKA Twigs, some of my favorite women artists, so that was my first hook – indeed, the soulful croonings and delicate, deliberate keyboard layerings of “I Ache” are reminiscent of Julianna Barwick’s incredibly moving and fluid chunks of sound. If I had to make another comparison that wasn’t made by the artist himself, it would probably be The Antlers, because they also make sad and orchestral vocal-centric music. What I really like about this video is how up-front Brenner makes his own aesthetic and emotions – there’s no hiding behind masks when you’re singing your own lyrics by yourself, directly into the camera. Furthermore, the song itself is about being spread so thin emotionally that collapse is a real threat; the pain and feeling are palpable, but there’s also a very pleasing and uplifting transcendent element to “I Ache.” All in all, I’m pretty darn happy I discovered PASTEL today – it’s clear that Brenner will be composing moving and beautiful music for years to come, and I’ll certainly keep an eye out.