Dipped in a nostalgic dose of swirling indie-psych and dripping with a self-possessed charm comes ‘Clear Blue Water’, the latest single and accompanying music video from Brisbane lo-fi pop outfit Sugar Leaves.
The creative project of Queensland-based Cassius Surman, Sugar Leaves has been entrancing audiences with serene, groove-infused psychedelia that crackles with dreamy bedroom-pop haze and moreish lyrical hooks.
Experiencing a huge year which saw the debut of Sugar Leaves with the well-received single ‘Stuck Together’ and succeeding EP Relax, the release of ‘Clear Blue Water’ marks the band’s smooth return during a current live music resurgence in Brisbane following a string of recent lockdowns.
Featuring an addictive bass guitar groove, aerial, unearthly synths and salted sea breeze guitar layers, ‘Clear Blue Water’ laps pleasantly around the mind as Cassius’ dusky vocals ripple out with a hypnotic charm.
Arriving alongside the track in a surge of retro-inspired special effects that would do MTV music clips of the 80’s proud is the ‘Clear Blue Water’ music video. Directed by Indigo Pesu (Lilian Vase), we follow a business suit-clad figure on his physical and mental journey through Brisbane, as he seems to be chased by demons on his very detour-filled trip to an unknown destination.
Using a multitude of clever filming techniques and bewitching effects, the video sucks you into the businessman’s travels, as he is chased by representations of his inner demons, ultimately discovering that everything turns out okay in the end. Funnily enough, through some difficulties that arose during the creative process, filming the video uncovered the same lesson, as Cassius explains.
"The first day we tried to film this video we walked from Boundary Hotel in West End to Parliament skate shop in the city, shot a whole day's worth of footage and then lost ALL the footage. But we re-traced our steps exactly one week after almost shot-for-shot with a new camera and re-created our storyboard and ideas from the week before. This is our final product. Everything always turns out fine in the end.”
Boasting a clear knack for creating palpable lo-fi psych-pop that glides with a syrupy grace, there’s no doubt that Sugar Leaves are headed in the right direction, delivering captivating visual accompaniments and enthralling live performances to boot. If you're in Brissy, keep an eye out for Sugar Leaves' live shows, and soak up these warming indie-psych textures in the meantime.
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