Words Valeria Solonari
Copenhagen’s freshest indie-pop talents, The Telenovelas, will release their debut album ‘Winona, Forever’ by the turn of the new year, and to soften the wait, they are welcoming their first video for the opening track, ‘Future Echoes’. Bearing no similarities to other Danish leftfield noise purveyors, the song introduces the original band through guitar chirrups, shoulder-shrug bass lines and endlessly moreish vocal hooks. It’s a marvelous indie pop-rock tune at heart, and only the first earworm out of four singles this band has prepared to engorge our minds on.
Hoping to impact the audience with this first track, the quartet also wishes the song makes an impact far beyond radio play – as it has now been joined by a ‘short movie’ made by Lasse Bak Mejlvang, the big brother of the band’s guitarist, Anders Bak Mejlvang.
The Telenovelas forthcoming debut album is set to be noteworthy. So noteworthy in fact that the Bak Mejlvang brothers decided that the time has come for them to lift the lid on their family’s life, in the utmost authentic way possible.
Carefully directed by renowned photographer and videographer Lasse Bak Mejlvang, the debut track ‘Future Echoes’ proves that archive footage and reportage shooting could be equally versatile factors of the progression towards public recognition.
Tomorrow’s Journal has recently caught up with the aforementioned director about his latest music-video feat, to get the behind-the-scenes scoops of a video that proves the medium is very much alive, and ready to take the band’s early success to new heights.
There could have been no better video for the band to set the tone – both musically and aesthetically – as it turns out that the shoot was as memorable as the video is significant.
‘Future Echoes’ consists of old home movies filmed by the late grandfather of the Bak Mejlvang brothers, which shows their mother’s upbringing from being a little girl up until becoming a mother. These original clips were primarily filmed in and around the family home in Bornholm, Denmark, where parts of The Telenovelas debut album are also recorded. Wanting to pay homage to the family house and family members who tied all of this together, director Lasse Bak Mejlvang successfully mixed the old home videos with his own recordings of the band, all “shot in glorious 8mm” narrow film camera to emulate the feeling of family nostalgia – in return showing that some images take longer than a few decades to fade.
…Most of the footage our grandfather took of our mom was done during summertime, and somehow he managed to capture everything at sunset. At that time, 8mm film was considered expensive for the everyday person, so he was very selective of when to push the button…
– Lasse Bak Mejlvang
At first hearing, ‘Future Echoes’ is driven by ringing guitars and a rocking beat, but there is also an anxiety lurking below the surface. The song tells a very personal story of a father who cannot bear the responsibilities entrusted to him. Playing on a fusion of past and present, reality and lyrical fantasy, this rather sentimental spectacle of family life tenders an early ’70 version of archive-film, as it reverberates, reworks and updates discourses on family, accountability, passing time and restraint.
Embarking the trend of technological simplification, the ‘Future Echoes’ music video contrasts sharply with the technical and formal superiority of other current works, as it intentionally lacks special effects, strong editing, spectacle, or even a script. It’s imperfect control over formal aesthetics and the subject’s self-conscious hobnobbing with the camera, register its emotional authenticity. It also sweetly and alluringly affirms the narrative as the quintessence of the band’s spirit.
…When we talked about this music video idea, it was actually intended for a completely different number. It was really weird when it dawned on me in the middle of filming, how much correlation exists between the video and the song…
– Lead singer, Carl Juul Nielsen
The mix of current band footage slamming their instruments in their natural habitat and old video memorabilia transfer a more authentic, less warped, more truthful, and less-manufactured representation of their musical journey.
The found footage embroiders the excesses of indie pop-rock sounds with the tranquility of the ordinary. It coaxes emotion and empathy in the spectator because it is so boldly out of fashion and fashionless, thus leaving plenty of room for everyone’s interpretation of the song to sink in.
The band’s efforts alongside the creative direction of Bak Mejlvang also help democratize, in a very minimal way, the media production, so that in the future it liberates it as a more accessible and meaningful form of personal expression.
Not yet having both their feet well placed in the music scene, The Telenovelas has already decided to steer away from generic formulas of reaching stardom. Indeed, technology, fast editing and sensational content often triumph nowadays, however for them the preservation of fleeting, perishable moments of family history will always prevail, making the ‘Future Echoes’ video an excellent instrument for The Telenovelas warranted success.
The Telenovelas will perform at Studenterhuset in Copenhagen, Denmark on December 3rd in the wake of their debut album, ‘Winona, Forever’.