London-based Curse of Lono release an epic video for ‘Ursula Andress’, a scintillating track from their eagerly anticipated new album, ‘People in Cars’.
For Felix Bechtolsheimer, the singer, songwriter and creative centre of Curse of Lono, the last year has been particularly gruelling. While dealing with the impact of lockdown on his music, he lost his father, an uncle and an ex-partner. It’s hardly a surprise that his recent music reflects the grief, loss and pain in his life around that time and the album’s theme’s reflect the darkness he was facing.
However, in contrast to the new album’s darker tracks, the gently swaying ‘Ursula Andress‘ was written for the German-born, London-based songwriter’s son, with Bechtolsheimer imagining a cinematically-inspired carefree youth. Leonard Cohen, Serge Gainsbourg and even The National’s Matt Berninger come to mind, but the nostalgic cinematic themes recall early, classic Lloyd Cole and the Commotions.
The track opens with some slow, clap-along, floor tom thumping and some nicely swinging guitar arpeggios before Bechtolsheimer’s granular, gravelly voice comes in. The track has a fabulously languid feel, with reverby guitars and laid-back backing vocals. It’s superb.
Even better, the video is every bit as good as the song. It kicks off with Bechtolsheimer sitting in a vintage car trapped between various wild and louche passengers having far too good a time. As an evocative, classic, back projection screens through the rear windows, he’s forced to stoically and grimly endure a slow-motion, late night ride rammed together on the back seat with his party animal companions.
As Bechtolsheimer gets out of the car, the camera pulls back to reveal the studio setting. With the back projection still running, Bechtolsheimer’s partied-up travelling companions are also revealed in the foreground and they join him for a wonderfully off-kilter dance sequence. It’s a showstopping end to a fabulous video, elegantly directed by Marieke Macklon and beautifully shot by Jenny Alice Films.
As Bechtolsheimer’ says, “Right now I can do what I fucking like. I got a record that’s my favourite record I’ve ever made by a long way, and it’s the record I needed to make. I lost my dad, my uncle and my ex-partner last year, and my band, but I’ve got this record and I almost look at it like a bit of a shrine.”
He’s right… it’s outstanding work.