Leif Vollebekk steps out from behind the piano and into a colourful body of water in the captivating new video for “Into the Ether,” off his Juno-nominated 2017 album Twin Solitude.
Clad in a white T-shirt and jeans, the Montreal artist sways and peddles underwater between neon flashes of light while singing the heartfelt ballad.
Shots of Vollebekk are interchanged with the storyline of the female lead, who revels in slow motion as she weaves through a wild masked party — not unlike Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, who’s overcome by the madness of a drug-filled masquerade. Eventually, when the allure of the party wears thin, she submerges herself in water, too.
The visuals are a fitting accompaniment to the song, which feels like an ode to someone lost within themself — someone who might find truth and clarity by just letting go.
“The arrangement for this song came to me when I was swimming at the YMCA," says Vollebekk. "So I asked [video director] Kaveh [Nabatian] if we could have everything take place in an underwater nightclub."
Vollebekk continues, "In the end, it's just someone coming down for air.”
Nabatian says that, to him, the song is about confronting the lies we tell each other and ourselves.
"Leif and I had the idea to film that moment in the night when the shiny exterior we create around ourselves shatters,” says Nabatian. "That feeling of loneliness is something like floating underwater — slowly falling into the ether.”
Twin Solitude is nominated for adult alternative album of the year at the 2018 Juno Awards, which will be handed out next weekend, March 24-25, in Vancouver, B.C. This is Vollebekk’s first Juno nomination.
For more Juno coverage, visit CBCmusic.ca/junos.