With their sophomore LP, Marriage, chamber pop and folk sextet Oryx & Crake decided to explore the dark side of matrimony and the feelings of bitterness, fear and ennui that arise when a union constructed on commitment and love is in the process of unraveling. Based largely on the experiences of principal members Ryan Peoples and Rebekah Goode-Peoples, the result is a brooding record, one where the rays of light and hope that sparkled on their debut are more muted and harder to pinpoint. It’s not so much a tragic listen, as it a somber and sobering one.
With their new video for “The Show,” the band seeks to drag us into the center of their moody malaise, literally placing the viewer inside Ryan and Rebekah’s home as their relationship silently dissolves. Director Gregory Miller, who also shot and produced the video, paints a portrait of isolation and discontent where every frame, even those featuring their daughter Izzy, is cast in a halo of shadows. The couple go about their evening routine, their grim expressions and stoic lack of communication articulating the cold distance that has emerged between them. The video ends with slow-motion footage of the band performing while Ryan dramatically repeats the words “So alive!,” offering, perhaps, a glimmer of optimism in an otherwise bleak production.
Marriage is available now on digital, double vinyl and CD via Deer Bear Wolf.
Oryx & Crake will perform this Friday, November 20 at the High Museum of Art when they play in support of Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics. Music starts at 6 p.m. Entry is FREE with half-priced museum admission.