Styling: Ian David Monroe
It’ s been just under two years since Chloe Chaidez, aka Kitten, stunned with her eponymous album, and today sees her glamorous rock return. Here, in her Joshua Shultz-directed music video for new track “Fall On Me,” premiering exclusively on V, she’ s polished and understatedly badass.
Scenes of the singer traipsing through a cemetery and along the sea are juxtaposed with a close crop frame of her channeling serious Old Hollywood glamour. On the project, she reflects, "A lot the inspirations for the look of the video came from my earlier collaborations with Joshua. He's an amazing photographer, and has a great eye for landscapes. I really feel comfortable in front of the camera with him, which isn’ t always easy. After we decided that we were going to shoot a music video, we just started to look for the things that inspired both us: INXS's 'Never Tear Us Apart' and Morrisey’ s 'Everyday is Like Sunday' were two big ones."The video’ s narrative? “It’ s about the last day of someone’ s life,” she says. “Although I don’ t know if someone would really hang out at a cemetery that day.” This reflecting on mortality is in the DNA of Chaidez’ s forthcoming EP, aptly titled Heaven Or Somewhere In Between.
Other references for the video, specifically its black and white filter, come from the prolific works of photographer Helmut Newton. “I was looking at a bunch of photos and didn’ t realize that they were inspired by him. [His] work seems to work itself into everything I do. He will forever be an inspiration.” Beyond aesthetics, Chaidez channeled a different skill of Newton’ s for this video: “I liked the idea of creating a story where there wasn’ t one.”
Newton’ s aesthetic influence is even more obvious throughout the singer’ s Instagram, a feed dedicated to colorless images documenting her day-to-day and friendships with fellow musicians. Chaidez didn’ t tap any of them for this record, but hasn’ t ruled it out for the future. She offers this: “I might be working on something collaborative, but I don’ t think I can say yet.” When hinting at some festivals she’ ll be playing this summer, she's similarly tight-lipped. “They haven’ t been announced, but they’ re going to be great.”
Another obvious aspect of Chaidez’ s social channels is her penchant for dressing in vintage clothing. “I style myself, but for the video I worked with this stylist,Lisa L Martinez.She is so fabulous, and I love working with her. Her closet is a dream. She has everything from '70s Chanel jumpsuits, to '80s prom dresses." To sum it up: she certainly dresses the part.
In a 2014 interview with V, Chaidez had her sights set on the stars, saying, “People call us an indie band, but I want to be huge.” Does she still feel the same today? “Yeah, I do, but I just don’ t want to be categorized as indie. It’ s become its own genre.” While her sound on this EP is distinctly rock with a bit of synth, she is, technically speaking, independent. Recently, the singer left her record label, Elektra Records, in favor of doing it her own way. "There's really no difference. We always did everything on our own, from writing the music, and producing the records, to creating the album art, making the videos and building our live show.”
She’ s right: the music is just as good, the potential just as great, and the limits endless.Kitten plays The Fonda Theatre on Jan 30, and SXSW in March. Tickets are available to the Fonda showhere.