Jazz North northern line female-fronted band freese trio combine triphop, electronica and grunge to create a new genre of darkness which explores inner demons and truth. Following funding from Jazz North, these Leeds-based artists have explored this genre further on film and released their first music video, Pleasure Island, from the band’s new album The Beast in the Blueprint.
Filmed at Abbeydale Picture House in Sheffield, the three contrasting scenes in the video – the fly tower, auditorium and shots of band leader Jemma Freese dancing – each reflect different meanings of the song. The fly tower represents the darkness, the auditorium is the emptiness and loneliness, and the manic dancing represents the ‘fight or flight’ which ignites when we are in a state of fear.
“The emotions and mental health problems that I have and go through inspire me to write this music,” explains Jemma. “Pleasure Island is about losing our identities: realising that we aren’t the people we want to be, but not knowing how to find ourselves. I use metaphorical language to describe the recurring negative patterns I have caused by d
epression and anxiety. These patterns lead me down dark paths, where obsessions and addictions took the place of self-discovery and growth.”
Jemma continues: “The inspiration for this particular song and the video came from an image I had in my head of being stuck on an island with everything your darkest desires wanted, but not what you actually needed. I imagined all the dark sides of the ego consuming oneself, until there was only a slither of soul left – desperately trying to escape.”
Tension sets the tone of the song, layering and building from the outset, with soaring vocals providing the only fleeting release. These moments of daylight emphasise the lines ‘let them run’ and ‘find myself’, which express the torturing desire to change.