It’s been a hell of a year for music videos in Milwaukee. Local bands have really stepped things up of late to consistently churn out videos with rich production values, inventive and hilarious concepts, and an admirable amount of ambition—especially given the shoestring budgets most area acts have to allocate to visual representations of recorded music. As the unofficial Year Of The Great Milwaukee Music Video draws to a close, it’s only fitting that Field Report—whose recently released sophomore album Marigolden is on the shortlist of the city’s best albums—is responsible for what could be considered to be the most ambitious and all-around best Milwaukee music video of 2014 as well.
The video for “Wings” is the third video spawned from Marigolden, following first single “Home”, and a Milwaukee Record exclusive video for “Decision Day” released last month. This latest work, hosted by Entertainment Weekly, has ample local connection. The majority of the story concept, animation, and design was done by Erik Holman and Vassi Slovova for Blackbox Visual, which also did the Marigolden album art. Longtime Field Report bassist Travis Whitty, who left the band amicably shortly before the album’s release, served as assistant animator and helped with preliminary production design and writing the concept. The final product is a result of work done over the past two months “using a combination of final vector art designs in Adobe Illustrator, and fully animated in Adobe After Effects,” Whitty says.
Echoing the “electro-folk” feel Field Report occasionally employs on the record, the animated video is set in space in the not-so-distant future. It finds beings traveling to another planet to harvest a diamond-like resource from another creature’s mandible (a less-than-subtle reference to the “Take these rocks out of my mouth” lyric). “When the new pilot that we follow for the majority of the story finally realizes the implications of what he was sent to do, he destroys everything out of regret and disgust,” Whitty says.
Field Report will be on the road through the end of the month, and will then head to Europe early next year to play in support of Jeff Tweedy.