Jaye Jayle’s most recent record Prisyn has been haunting us in quarantine since its release date back in August, but today one of the tracks, “From Louisville,” is taking on a new life with a video by director Bobby Cochran. To accentuate the track’s pounding sense of isolation already emboldened by the songwriter’s bone-rattling baritone, Cochran illustrates the track’s central theme of the struggle to cohabitate by setting it to a series of darkly psychedelic slow-mo images of people blindly reaching in front of them, among other apt symbols.
Along with the video, Jayle shared a few thoughts about the project, as well as some reflections on quarantine, in the brief Q&A below the video. Prisyn is out now via Sargent House—stream or purchase it here.
Do the visuals resemble what you had in your head when you wrote “From Louisville”?
When working with directors and other artists in general I prefer to give them total artistic freedom. I find it makes the collaboration much more enjoyable. The visuals in my head while writing the words to the song actually don’t resemble what Bobby created in the video, but the video does lend itself to a similar emotional weight. A perfect balance of euphoria and reality.
I read that you sent the director, Bobby Cochran, some ideas for the video’s concept—how easily were you able to identify those ideas when you first watched the video?
Bobby’s original concept was initially very different. A bit more fairytale-like or surreal. When I first saw the final video I was pleasantly surprised by how relatable the visuals felt. Humanistic and beautifully captured.
Would you mind sharing what some of those ideas were?
My initial idea, what I see when I sing this song, is a common domesticated couple struggling to cohabitate in a hole that they dug into the ground. This hole is slowly filling up with water. Yet they don’t let the rising water affect their routines and go about life per usual. By the time the water reaches their heads, they begin to wonder if they must venture out into the world above and leave what they have created behind. Or if they should wait and wade, to see if the water level will lower. To see if they can survive. The narrative at the end of the song is their shared conscience. Securing them and reminding them to never give up.
What do you look to as a light at the end of the tunnel that is the pandemic? What gives you hope?
This is the light at the end of the tunnel. To live life right now as it is happening is the hope. When one stops living their life to the fullest then there is no more hope or light. If I had to live out the rest of my life in a pandemic I would do my best respectfully and responsibly to make the best of it. I know it’s not that simple for most people, but it is for me. Most of the time.
What’s been your comfort music/film/art/literature in quarantine?
My greatest musical discovery this year is Alberto Iglesias and his film scores. I do find Jesse Draxler’s visual artwork to be some of the most consistently inspiring. Too Old to Die Young is a fantastic series and pretty much everything Nicolas Winding Refn creates is stunning. I keep coming back to Of Gravity & Angels, a book of poems by Jane Hirshfield.