gold fir's new video is a love letter to london's diverse club scene
As i-D premieres the video for 'Fatal Fantasies,' the mysterious musical duo recounts one wild night out.
Still via YouTube
“Soulful, ever-evolving whole hearted grooves.” That’s how London-based duo Gold Fir characterizes its music on Bandcamp, and it’s the most accurate description of Gold Fir’s eccentric sounds you’ll find. In a day and age where genre-bending electronic artists are a dime a dozen, the pair, known simply as Mabel and James, brings something legitimately unique to the table. Their debut single, a vibey track called “Night Walk,” features smooth soulful vocals over an 80s-esque synth-pop background; their sophomore song, an energetic banger called “Sirens,” boats a similar retro feel but with a cleaner, more crystalline quality. “Fatal Fantasies,” their latest release, draws from afrobeat, synthpop, and soft rock influences. “It’s called ‘Fatal Fantasies’ because it’s about new love and how exciting it can be — it can feel like a fantasy and you can lose your head in it,” explains Mabel. “Fantasy is amazing but it’s also dangerous not to be present — new love can do that to you.”
Today, i-D is exclusively premiering the video for “Fatal Fantasies,” a visual love letter to London’s diverse and buzzing nightlife scene. “The excitement of going out to a club and losing yourself in it feels similar to losing your head in love — we wanted to capture a bit of that spirit in ‘Fatal Fantasies,’” says Mabel. “We also wanted to convey how inspiring all of these different club cultures that are thriving underground are. London’s not like New York, it’s not the city that never sleeps — London sleeps but there’s loads going on beneath its surface, you just have to listen.”
Below, i-D speaks with Mabel and James about the new release.
Your sound is so eccentric and encompasses a lot of different genres. What was the sonic inspiration behind “Fatal Fantasies?”
James: Mabel and I, we have such a wide variety of interests so one of the things we find really interesting in our process is trying to bring together a lot of different things that maybe wouldn’t normally blend all the time. For “Fatal Fantasies,” we were inspired by Stevie Nicks and soft rock but also an afrobeat. So I guess our process, we just try a bunch of ideas and see which one works and for this song I think we came up with something that’s quite unique. It’s powerful.
How did you decide on the theme for the video and how does it relate back to the track itself?
Mabel: James and I both love dance of all different types. We ourselves love club culture, going out, and losing ourselves in it all. Clubs are spaces where people can totally accept themselves and dance however they want — that full-blown energy is the same energy as having a new love. There are so many rubbish things going on in London right now but club culture is up to spec and clubs are up to spec. When it comes to nightlife, there are some really exciting things going on like not-for-profit nights and places where it genuinely is about the music. There’s real love among people within club culture, a unifying element. We wanted the “Fatal Fantasies” video to be a celebration of the energy and the empowerment that one can find from being excited about going out and about meeting new people or going out with your friends and letting go and dancing to music.
Jamila, who stars in the video, we came across her on YouTube randomly. She was in a video dancing to one of our old tracks, which was just the most exciting thing ever. We contacted her and were like, ‘Hey, would you be up for being in a video and choreographing something for it?’ Her character kind of goes between fantasy and real life in the video but you can’t tell which is which. It’s a bit of magical realism.
The video is shot in a bunch of different clubs around London. What was the filming process itself like?
Mabel: We did a lot of the filming on our own devices like a camcorder and an old Nokia phone.
James: We literally just decided to go to five different clubs in one night and they were all totally different. We went to a jungle rave, a techno rave, a hardcore party, a drum and bass night, a dubstep night — they were in all of these old haunts that we’d been to when we were younger. We just drove around getting a big picture of the variety of nights you could have in London. There was such a diversity of music but every club all shared a common similarity, a common vibe. We hadn’t been to those clubs in a while and going raving when we were younger was a special time in our lives. It was really great.
Why did London’s club culture affect you so profoundly when you were younger? What made it so magical?
Mabel: I met so many different types of people thorough clubbing and I felt independent and empowered. It’s what opened me up to music, which was the most liberating thing ever. It provided these really amazing fantasies where you could just dance all night — it was just incredible.
What feelings do you hope the “Fatal Fantasies” video elicits in viewers?
Mabel: I hope it feels nostalgic for them, that they experience that same feeling they might get when they first fall for someone. I hope they feel a little bit nostalgic but also empowered in the present.