There’s power in finding comfort. There’s also a powerful feeling that comes creeping in when you lose that comfort. It’s an endless search and an endless cycle, something that Cumulus’ Alexandra Niedzialkowski confronts head-on in the title track from the band’s 2018 LP Comfort World.
The song finds Niedzialkowski pining for a time she lost, a time when everything felt alright. Delicately strummed, mournful chords ring out against layers of harmonies and the patter of distant drums. She sings about being “stoned and alone,” clothes on the floor, and trying to find a new path. It’s a powerful ode to the aching soul-searching feeling many of feel at some point, made even more poignant with a new music video directed by Mike Davis, who also produced Comfort World.
The video’s languid pace lets us experience Niedzialkowski’s own journey as it cuts between shots of her alone and awake in bed, walking through the forest, and finding pieces of her past stuck in the snow. The past and the present interweave like translucent phantoms overlapping one another. It’s a beautiful and oddly comforting to the enduring pursuit of happiness even in the bleakest, lost moments.
Niedzialkowski shares the inspiration behind the video:
"This music video was written/edited/and directed by Mike Davis, who was also the producer of Comfort World. Making this music video was such an incredible experience, I think because it felt like an extension of how connected Mike and I’s heart and vision were. It was actually a little bit sad to be done with the record, because the creative bubble we lived in during it was so inspiring, but with this music video we got to recreate that just a little bit longer.
He rented out a cabin in Leavenworth, and we brought a small crew of my guitarist Sebastien Deramat and my boyfriend Brad Lockhart. We spent two days with no running water, breaking several pairs of snowshoes, finding the most beautiful scenery we could. The cabin he found was the epitome of a “comfort world,” I even ended up using a photo I took of the cabin as the single art for the album.
The concept is very open to interpretation, but at its core- I am moving into an apartment all by myself surrounded by boxes and a mattress on the floor. I start digging through my belongings and having dream-like memories of encountering those mementos in another version of my life. That trail of mementos leads me along a path that makes me question what I’m looking for in life, and the dreams I still want to fulfill."
Watch the “Comfort World” video below.
Cumulus will head out on the road next month, kicking off a string of dates beginning at SXSW then running throughout the Pacific Northwest. Check out the full tour listing below.
March 11 - 16 - Austin, TX - SXSW
March 21 - 24 - Boise, ID - Treefort Music Festival
March 29 - Seattle, WA - Clock Out Lounge
April 6 - Seattle, WA - Vera Project
April 5 - Portland, OR - Polaris Hall
April 26 - Bellingham, WA - Wild Buffalo
April 27 - Tacoma, WA - Jazzbones
The Seattle artist's new album, Comfort World, is out Sept. 28 via Trans- Records.
For almost two years, Cumulus kept the tracks for their debut album hidden. After beginning their songwriting process in 2011, the group, led by singer/guitarist/songwriter Alexandra Niedzialkowski, slowly but surely put the pieces together while recording in Anacortes, WA, with Phil Elverum. The...
Since forming in 2007, Seattle's Cumulus – comprised of Alexandra Niedzialkowski, Lance Umble and Leah Julius – have only recently released their debut album, I Never Meant It To Be Like This, last month. But the wait was well worth it! The record is tight and rife with cheerful pop music, from s...