Warm Human is a solo project by Chicago-based producer and composer Meredith Johnston. Today she’s releasing a visual component for the song “Down” from her upcoming record, titled Ghastly.
Johnston’s sound has been previously described as “sludge pop.” At times, the cinematic strings add extra gravity to the already sinking melody, but this seems intentional as her vocals ooze with desperate yet resigned feelings about the moment. While the song definitely has that heavy sensation, the video seems to play on this as many of the shots are upside down. In fact, this makes the music seem all the more haunting as Johnston rides belly-up splayed across the top of a sedan while blue misty clouds past her by.
These same blue hues are used throughout, whether it be an eerie shot of a slithering snake or a closeup of Johnston’s hand hanging out of a car window. The intensity of the blue is only revealed when more glowing, amber-like shots follow as Johnston is once again splayed out, but this time under a street lamp. The video does an amazing job of complicating the song and its unique feeling without overshadowing it, arguably making the colors the most important and communicative feature.
Some context from Johnston:
Ghastly is about the ghosts that haunt you after a relationship ends, and how you have to work through your worst parts of yourself before you can come out as a survivor.
I try to write with the honesty I would in a journal or talking to my best friend. Most of the writing process for Ghastly is directly what I was experiencing at the time. Deterioration, confusion, restructuring.
I wrote “Down” in that moment when everything in your life is going well and you make a decision to fuck it all up. It’s dipping your head back into the chaos, despite knowing it’s not the right or healthy decision.
01 “Worst Kind Of Girl”
04 “Dog Years”
05 “Y U”
06 “Give Up The Ghost”
07 “Goodnight Texts”
09 “Sleep Through This”
Ghastly is out 3/8. Pre-order it here.