Behind the Surreal Scenes of Bite Marks’ “Fallow”

Pay no attention to the thermometer–you may want to bundle up for this. On June 17, D.C. indie quartet Bite Marks released an icy official music video for “Fallow,” the third track from their debut EP No Future.

“A lot of the music I write is what I would call cinematic, but of all the tracks on the EP, this was the one that inspired me the most visually,” said guitarist Sean Kelly, who filmed, directed, and edited the video.

Recorded in the winter of this year, it features singer Stephanie Hope walking amid the snow-covered headstones of Rock Creek Cemetery as clouds sweep overhead and day shifts rapidly to night. Hope says for her, the setting was a no-brainer.

“I’ve always loved and lived near cemeteries, and this one is right up the street from me.”

It plays well with “Fallow,” a track that showcases the goth undertones in Bite Marks’ dark, alt-metal-influenced style–you can hear it in the brooding acoustic guitar and piano that accompany Hope’s dreamy vocals. It also matches the song’s wintry narrative.

“There’s a strong image in the chorus: ‘just a car and a couple of kids / spinning on the ice,’” says Hope. “We don’t have the budget to spin a car on a frozen lake. This seemed like the next best thing.”

Kelly had originally planned to record in the fall; he was hoping for a golden-hour autumn sky to add to the song’s otherworldly edge, but with the way the band’s schedule worked out, he had to improvise over the bleak winter visuals.

“I discovered I could key out the white of the sky and replace it, and the result was this very surreal, almost impressionistic image,” says Kelly. “I bought some stock footage of time lapse sunsets, taught myself to use [Adobe] AfterEffects, and began the painstaking process of replacing the sky through the 6,000-some frames of the video.”

It was more work than he planned at the outset, but it paid off in the uniquely uncanny atmosphere of the finished product–something that may not have come together otherwise.

“The contrast between how quickly time seems to be moving around Stephanie and how slowly she walks really conveys this feeling I have of time flying by but every day feeling like a slog,” Kelly says. “This has been a very busy year for me so far.”

As far as Bite Marks is concerned, the year is just getting started. You can see the band play unplugged at the Audioteka III music festival on July 20, and they plan to spend the rest of the summer gigging in D.C. and writing new music, with a potential return to the studio this fall.

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