Down The Lees – ‘Antiseptic Heart’

Down The Lees started as a solo project for composer and multi-instrumentalist Laura Lee Schultz.

Brought up in Vancouver, where she played indie venues, and then widening her scope further into Canada and the US, she’s now based in Belgium, with its thriving live music scene, where she found drummer Jonathan Frederix and bassist Kwinten Gluehorse, who became part of Down The Lees. Their new single, ‘Antiseptic Heart’ is from their ‘Bury The Sun’, which follows on from two full length albums and an EP.

‘Antiseptic Heart’ has a devastating slow-core solitude, both sonically and lyrically. It’s a major display of the band’s power. Laura says,

“‘Antiseptic Heart’ is a song about artists feeling vulnerable and trolls throwing negative, hurtful comments at them. We as artists, have to have a thick skin, and sometimes, the skin isn’t thick enough. Forcing them to quit making their art or worse, quit life.”

‘Antiseptic Heart’ was recorded and mixed by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio, who knows that a great song has to be allowed to stand on its own. He stands out of its way and lets the quiet verses work their magic, alongside the choruses, which see Schultz go from breathy and plaintive, to belting, and pain-filled. The drums crash as her deeply personal lyrics barely keep the heartache in check.

The video sees the band on stage in what appears to be a tiny rock club. Schultz asks, “Antiseptic Heart…who has mine? Who has mine?”, but the question goes unanswered, as there’s nobody in the room. This provokes further questions: are they suggesting the isolation of someone who goes against the grain and therefore stands alone, or rather are they illustrating what every indie-band goes through, the challenge to do what they believe in rather than selling out to populist notions.

Directed by Sam Baguet, the scenes alternate between muted, desaturated tones for the verses, in contrast with stark black and white for the choruses. We see lights flash across the band, as if like an approaching thunderstorm – and defiantly, they play into it. Feedback and bass chords squeal and growl respectively, showing that when in front of a live audience they will both enthral and entrance.

Find Down The Lees on Facebook, watch the video below:

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