Without Apology Video, Featuring Katheryne Penny

“Durham’s alt-indie solo artist and multi-instrumentalist Girl From Winter Jargon gives her Spotify debut, Without Apology, a visual component with a swish new music video. Filmed by New York visual artist and performer Katheryne Penny, this greyscale piece of cinema is wonderfully shot and choreographed and is as bold and as intricate as the song to which it accompanies…”   NARC. Magazine

Girl From Winter Jargon on the video for Without Apology…

I hadn’t ever planned to make a video for Without Apology; the whole thing was born out of serendipitous circumstances.

I first came across Katheryne Penny – a New York-based visual art creator and performer – when The Dresden Dolls (one of my favourite bands) shared her video reel for ‘Coin-Operated Boy.’  I thought her work was brilliant – really creative, engaging and interesting to watch; I also found that I could hear my own music in my head through watching her videos, so I (very cheekily) reposted her footage, replacing the original audio with my own, and tagged her with a written disclaimer, “100% Fan-made video. Not my content.”

This could’ve all been met with total indifference, but instead, she surprised me by letting me know she’d listened to Without Apology, loved the song, and wanted to know if I’d be into making a proper video for it.  As part of her process, Katheryne wanted to understand more about the origin of the song and the lyrics themselves, so as to ‘represent the stories and feelings an Artist infuses into a song, even if it’s not exactly on the nose in the final product.’ I think I ended up telling her a lot more than I tell most people!

We wanted a certain aesthetic for the video; an ‘almost’ timeless black and white feel with a low-budget charm; a dressed-down Dark Cabaret style with maybe just a hint of early 90’s. I sent through loads of images from music, film and television, referencing everything from ‘The Breakfast Club’s’ Ally Sheedy, to Claire Danes and ***Jared Leto from ‘My So-Called Life’ – just to give her a sense of what I was after; her eventual ‘look’ though, was actually based on Johnny Depp’s character, “Sam” from the film, ‘Benny & Joon.’ This was one of my very first suggestions and one which I think worked out really well.

[***UPDATE:  Fun fact and a strange coincidence – I later learned that U.S Actor Theo Stockman, who starred in Apple TV’s “We Crashed” alongside Anne Hathaway and yes, Jared Leto actually assisted Katheryne with filming some of the scenes of Without Apology. Small world!]

Drawing on the words and imagery from Without Apology’s Lyric Video – Katheryne’s idea was to create visuals based on Surrealist paintings, which would be ‘created practically,’ (without using computerised effects) on location at her apartment in Manhattan. She sent over a hand-drawn storyboard of all her ideas for the visuals, along with the paintings that had inspired them. As part of my Art College education years ago, I’d actually chosen Surrealist artists Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte to study, so I was already very familiar with the paintings she’d referenced – one, in particular, being an all-time favourite! This isn’t something Katheryne could’ve possibly known about me, but actually – there were lots of little things like that throughout the process which made me feel like she really understood me on a creative level. I don’t know if that’s down to being intuitive, observational or whether she just thinks very similarly to me. Some of the ideas developed over time. I have an interest in pareidolia, which is where faces are seen within objects, but you see that all the time in Surrealism as well. One of my favourite parts of the video is undoubtedly the ‘singing house face,’ which was all Katheryne’s idea. I had no idea how she would do it, but she executed that perfectly. The floating apple scene turned out great too.

I had asked if there could be a pig somewhere in the video, perhaps in the form of a drawing or a printout somewhere in the background. Katheryne then ran away with that idea, brought the pig into the foreground as a sort of comrade sidekick to co-exist with and dance around! When I’m singing about “squealing pigs,” I’m referring to something quite chilling and sinister, but Katheryne’s pig (which she painted herself) is just so ridiculously cute and adorable, it almost feels like redemption. Without Apology is quite a dark song in some ways, but there’s a fun, satirical side to it as well.

Listen to Without Apology on Spotify
Listen to Without Apology (Instrumental Version)on Spotify 

Buy Without Apology on CD

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