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“Earrings” is the first video for Child Princess—the duo of Nora Button and Kevin Messinger—but the song itself was first released in February on a spilt tape with Palette (AKA Cash Langdon) on Drop Medium. While Child Princess only has one other release to their name—an EP from February of 2018—they have been making music together since they were in 7th grade. They casually started the band in their teens and, only in the past couple of years, slowly built it up into a more serious project. Tonight, the best friends and bandmates will perform their first live show—a side effect of living in different cities.
“Earrings” was directed by Alex Oliva and filmed by Julian Oliver. Button describes working with the pair as a comfortable and fun experience: “Alex is so motivated, energetic, invested, and thoughtful about her work. Julian’s calm, rational demeanor was the perfect counterpoint. I love them and feel so lucky that they wanted to make something with us!”
This is the first video Oliva has directed and the second one Oliver has filmed, but it very much feels like the work of seasoned professionals. The video was filmed during a light snowfall, which certainly created challenges for protecting the equipment, but Oliva’s direction created a backdrop that allowed Button to be the focal point. It’s easy to be distracted by everything around one’s self, but Oliva manages to create an intensity that keeps the viewer on track with the feelings Button romantically repeats: “we saw it all, we saw it all.”
While the video itself is mesmerizing, it also penetrates in a ghostly atmosphere in which Button becomes part of the memories she sings about. Memory acts as a main character throughout the film, from handprints in the snow to forgotten items left in a shed. With Button flowing through these items in the video, it feels as if the artist herself was a past memory, an eerie feeling.
Oliva describes the direction as, “a moving memorial to times spent with someone who has fallen out of favor and into the space of memory.”
She adds: “The snow, plaster casts, and the generally fixed and unmovable qualities of the spaces you see Nora shift through are meant to petrify the nostalgia and immobilize its potentially tormenting effect. Thinking of the video’s surroundings as vessels for this kind of obsessive energy freezes their burn and renders them static, in relief.”
A familiar burn for many as friends, family or lovers fall from our side and into oblivion, perhaps this video is a reminder that memory is just as physical as the person themselves, until they melt away with the snow.
Child Princess plays tonight at DC9 with Cigarette, Giggly Boys, and Palette. 1940 9th St. NW $12. 7 p.m.