Words by Keane Fletcher
If you didn't already know and haven't already checked it out, Melbourne-based indie-darlings Approachable Members of Your Local Community have been raking in the views with their latest clip 'Strong Enough', and we here at Hipland have your exclusive behind-the-scenes look!
Shot at an historic home in Victoria's Sassafrass region, the video is a a Wes-Anderson-esque romp through the Dandenong Ranges that's full of all the wholesome nostalgic goodness we've come to expect from AMOYLC, with one notable addition: vocalist Sage Mallet, who -- despite making her musical debut with AMOYLC -- definitely has music in her blood (her brother is pop-superstar Troye Sivan).
'Sage is a bit like a missing puzzle piece,' says the band. 'Everything happened really naturally. There was no great hypothesis or scientific measure involved in Sage joining - it was more of a beautiful natural phenomena, much like the humble caterpillar evolving into a magical butterfly.'
And speaking of natural phenomena, the video -- directed by Gabe Hanvey and featuring cinematography by Jesse Lane -- is full of them. In fact, you could call the video a paean to the region's natural architecture, all Jurassic Park-ferns and impossibly tall trees, a move the band says was inspired by their memories of school:
'There’s something about the natural world that feels really nostalgic for us. None of us had a particularly outdoorsy upbringings, but we’d get away together at school and as friends...[With the video] we fully got into the school camp zone, building those bunk beds and staying the night up there. After months locked away in our homes, it was heaps fun to finally come together with some incred creatives and explore the natural landscape together.'
The video for 'Strong Enough' is the most recent addition to the growing trend of artists praising the pastoral, following acts like Lorde and Holy Holy in their embrace of the natural world. Call it The Great Resignation; people from all walks of life who, in the wake of the ongoing pandemic, are ditching city living in search of simpler pleasures.
'It’s frankly weird to release music in these times,' says the band. 'All we can say is that we desperately hope things get better and fast, especially for all the music workers and artists that are doing it tough. If you haven’t already, put that vaccine in your body!
On a lighter note and with our time together coming to a close, I had to ask them: with so much time spent bunking together during the shoot, and considering that most of them have known each other since high school (indeed keyboardist Max and drummer/producer Sam are even brothers), how do they manage to keep the good vibes going once the cameras have stopped rolling? Because god knows, at this point in the lockdown, I'm even fighting with my microwave.
'It’s amazing and horrendous,' they say. 'We know each other so well and we’ve said every joke and offended each other in every possible way. We eat at the same places, avoid the same people, and make the same music. You have to embrace it...[it's] like the best family dinner you can imagine but without your racist uncle.'
And now that Sage has joined in with the festivities? Has it changed the way they see themselves?
'[She's] given the band a real clarity of direction. And what that means for the Community is that things are about to get a heck of a lot more Approachable.
I couldn't have put it better myself.
Check out the video for 'Strong Enough' below!
Thanks for stopping by Hipland!
* Photos courtesy of Approachable Members of Your Local Community