Red ribbon pursues transcendence in “High” video
Emma Danner, musician from Los Angeles via Seattle, aka Red ribbon, is currently preparing to release his new album, Planet X, having previously shared the main singles “Renegade” and “Way”. Today she returns with the third single from the album “High”, and it’s a dizzy, languid indie rock number about – you guessed it – getting high. As, really high.
“I want you / I need you / I breathe you / Honey,” Danner sighs in the track, which features Shahzad Ismaily on drums and Abbey Blackwell on bass. Musically, “High” perfectly overlaps the line between frightening and sublime, transcendent and obliterating. The final verse melts into a plume of smoke dreamy of an outro: “If I follow you / Will I lose my way / Or will I get high?” For Danner, who lost his first love for opioids, these lyrics are meant to allow for more reading.
‘High’ also arrives with a trippy handmade video, co-directed by Danner and Matthew James-Wilson-Who finds Danner on a weird, colorful journey that somehow involves a bizarre alien figure, similar to a Grinch. When I say the video was made by hand I mean literally Handmade: this apparently required more than 3,000 sheets of paper.
Danner told us about “High”, how his sound has evolved since his debut in 2017 Freaks only, and chase transcendence through music. Check out the full Q&A and watch the new visual for Red Ribbon below. Planet X arrives June 11 via Danger Collective Records.
What is the story of your new single “High”? What prompted you to write it?
One cold, lonely evening, I went hella high. I can’t remember if it was weed or if it was for fun or being in love or who knows what! I wrote this song very quickly, maybe five minutes. I believe songs have many meanings, like parallel universes. I lost my first love to the opioid epidemic. But I also remember, when we were recording this particular version and listening to the reading, Shahzad [Ismaily]The kid hopped up on the couch saying “higher, higher! And so I like that sense too.
What was your vision and that of Matthew James-Wilson for the video?
The whole thing is piles of paper. I mean every second is 12.5 sheets of printer paper! So I’ll do the math now… we used over 3,000 sheets of paper. Animation and painting are all done by hand.
When and where are the songs Planet X come together?
The majority of these songs were written and performed on North American tours between 2018 and now. These particular recordings were made mainly in Brooklyn, but also in Tornillo and Seattle.
How has your sound evolved since Freaks only?
I’ve created Freaks only, so it’s a big change with the recordings. I was using really poor quality built-in cell phone mics or whatever I had access to, which wasn’t a lot. Planet X is a real studio record, using great equipment and that sort of thing. I think it can be powerful as a musician to cede control of engineering to someone who is dedicated to that particular art. As for the live sound, I just got louder and louder and less and less self-conscious. Prior to Freaks only, most of my live music experience has been confined to the streets on the streets in San Francisco.
Did making music ever seem like a high?
It definitely is. Much of my life has been trying to figure out how to catch the dragon. I mean, how can I get rid of the feeling of drunkenness without hurting myself? You hit the nail on the head with this question, because music is the answer. He is transcendent both in his creation and in his listening.