Sad Night Dynamite is a duo of early-twenties UK musicians comprised of members Archie and Josh who come with a knack for experimentation and a unique set of skills. Today they premiere their debut single with Elektra Records titled “Icy Violence” alongside a new visual filmed in the middle of the coronavirus. They joined HYPEBEAST to talk about the influences behind the track and the unique challenges that came with filming a music video during a global pandemic.
The mysterious duo made their introduction to the world with a seven-minute short film back in early March along with a four-song EP titled SND001, showcasing their enigmatic sound that blends a life-long love of hip-hop with electronic overtones and a strong sensibility for hypnotic and surreal visuals. There are some lingering influences like the recently-resurfaced The Avalanches or even Mike Skinner’s The Streets with the way the duo builds up a hip-hop foundation with eclectic soundscapes and takes the listener on a completely different, singular journey. A coinciding press release details that they nod to other British bands like The Specials — yes, ska-revivalist groups from the 1970s are not off limits to the diverse crate digging of the duo.
“Icy Violence” is essentially three songs in one. The sprawling five-minute offering opens with digital glitches and ominous echoes and ends with a near-Spaghetti Western-inspired breakdown for the remaining minute with shots of the countryside blending with sunsets. It’s something that you need to listen to a few times through to fully digest, and it’s a fun ride. Sad Night Dynamite detailed the creation of the visual, directed by Luke Casey:
We wrote “Icy Violence” in the midst of a really hot summer, it was actually one of the first songs Archie and I had finished together. So it was kind of the song that began the whole project. It has a loose narrative, with a scene playing out on a beach. I think the overriding theme in the lyrics, is one of moving on. There are also definitely parts of the song which remind us of where we grew up in the countryside.
The video came about much later, and was made in the midst of coronavirus lockdown – a very different set of circumstances from the summer in which we had written the song. It was really exciting to be able to work with Luke though, who’s such a talented director. Coronavirus definitely added challenges and it was hard to realize the ideas for the song without even being able to meet Luke in person – I think he did an amazing job though.
In the end, it involved a back and forth between all of us, with everyone filming different parts of the video. The end product is a mosaic of everything we captured, and I think it fits with the character of the song – both are equally fragmented and malevolent.
Director Luke Casey sums up the offering:
The song really feels like a creepy and euphoric journey, and I wanted to mirror that in our approach. We set out with a small crew, a number of different cameras, and we created surreal environments. The band also captured footage of themselves, animals and nature to support this journey. From there, I invited Hong Kong based artists Heidi Huang an animator and Royce Ng a CGI artist to build on some of the ideas of the song.
The limitations of lockdown actually made for an interesting collaborative process. The final film feels like a mash up / collage of all of us in our different lockdown locations collectively going a bit mad. I think lockdown helped us create something even more unique and strange which is fitting for the song.
Watch Sad Night Dynamite’s “Icy Violence”, stream the new single below and expect more from the rising duo in the near future. In more music updates, Kid Cudi and Eminem dropped a new collaboration titled “The Adventures of Moon Man & Slim Shady”.