This afternoon Stereogum premiered the new, animated video for Frog Eyes’ “The Sensitive Girls” by London-based, Russian artist Marsha Balaeva. For Balaeva, “what attracted [her] most was the theme of urban gloom and despair, where everything you look at is palpably wrong and menacing, yet fascinating in some way.”
The animation itself is fully hand-drawn and is made from just under a thousand drawings in ink and pencils. This was the first animation project Balaeva has done in color. At the beginning of the collaboration, Carey Mercer outlined his vision of this song, a mixture of “street despair”, faux-religious imagery, and the dream of fleeing dark places. This loose outline gave her the main theme for the storyline. He also came up with the finishing sequence, when the bird is flying out into the light of a crystal pyramid.
The majority of the city backdrops are based on actual streets and buildings of Liverpool, Manchester and London. A lot of the characters and objects can be traced back to various religious cults and practices, like the dog with the pins. In Kongo, wooden figurines of dogs and men were used by ‘baganga’ (healers) to perform rituals, and if themagic was successful a nail was added to it, so the most powerful objects were studded with nails.
For more information on Marsha Balaeva’s artwork, please visit visit her site here.
One of our favorite Canadian music channels, AUX.TV, recorded a great in-depth interview with Carey Mercer in which he discusses music, poetics, and where Frog Eyes fits in the artistic spectrum. The second video features an incredibly moving, acoustic version of “Violent Psalms.” Both videos are part of AUX.TV’s interview and performance series “What You See Is What You Get,” and you can see those and more here.