Nolan Potter Exorcises an Enchanting Epic for "Music Is Dead" Video (KEXP Premiere)

KEXP Premiere
Jasmine Albertson
photo by Stellina Stampouli

Ask anyone close to me and they’ll tell you that I’m not a patient human. A long line for a restaurant? There are plenty of other places to eat in this city. Prep time on a recipe more than 30 minutes? Nope. Would rather eat air fried veggies, yet again. So, I really marvel at people who not only have patience but choose to take the longer route, especially for the sake of art. Enter stop-motion animation.

While I can’t recall who exactly, but at a young age, someone told me how it worked. That every movement in an animated film was its own individual picture and work of art. Ever since then, I can’t help but marvel while watching an animated film and wonder, “Wouldn’t it be easier to just get actors?”

So, when one spends countless hours moving tiny paper figures around, not for Disney but for an upcoming band from Austin, I have to give respect. While I may not relate to their psyche, I do admire it. Perhaps, more so. The same goes for any artist who spends an unbillable amount of time on something that may never see the light of day.

“I may spend half the day on a song we’ll never play on stage,” Nolan Potter proclaims on the boldly-named track “Music Is Dead.” The title track off Potter’s latest album, released via Castle Face Records in September, and one of three recorded during the pandemic is indeed a testament to Potter’s commitment to creativity, no matter who hears it. The psychedelic soundscape spends the first five minutes sounding like a jaunty cover of a Paul Simon song from the ‘60s but slowly evolves into something far more magnificently sinister.

A song that kaleidoscopic deserves a video equally as creatively grand and Potter receives it from director Taylor Browne. The stop-motion short film is an epic nine-minute opus that marries animated cut-outs with live-action humans for an eccentric and decidedly trippy experience worthy of the John Dwyer co-sign. Browne had this to say about the video:

"Castleface Records presents Nolan Potter's Music Is Dead, a moral tale of greed and the loss of innocence. This stop motion video was directed by an exceptionally sleep deprived Taylor Browne in the vein of Terry Gilliam & Jan Svankmajer. The animation was created entirely by hand using illuminated manuscripts from the British Museum and vintage magazines found at Half Price Books. Additional Production & Camera Work was supplied by the illustrious Nick Tanner, Kasey Maloney, & Julie Wierd. Filmed entirely on location inside The Grimorium of The Eye. No members of Nolan Potter's Nightmare Band were harmed in the making of this video."

Music Is Dead is out now via Castle Face Records. For the Austin-based readers, catch them at Hotel Vegas on Thursday, October 28th for Levitation. Watch the video for “Music Is Dead” below.



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