Rare is the solo artist who, while standing perfectly still, captures your attention and imagination for the full duration of a track.
Hannah Cameron‘s piercing, expressive soprano cuts through the dignified gloom of the Railway Hotel in Fitzroy, as she and her guitar keep ghostlike sentry, the green tinge from some long-forgotten fish tank the perfect tint to her melancholic ballad.
In this live recording of What’s It For – drawn from her forthcoming album I Lay Where You Lie (out 8 June) – Cameron’s lilting vocals and sombre melody evoke a sense of a bygone era, perfectly aligned with the backdrop of a venue left behind by progress over the past 45 years.
Cameron is musically reminiscent of Joni Mitchel, with the aesthetic of Julia Jacklin, muddled with a vulnerability and self-consciousness that endears the listener to this rising artist.
The clip was directed, filmed and edited by Andy Johnson with the recording and mixed by Jono Steer, who together capture Cameron’s delicately-woven storytelling and honest, uncluttered delivery in a live setting.
“I wrote What’s It For? about the way that we, often unwittingly, allow external forces to influence our behaviour and our relationships,” she explains of the song.
“It just kind of struck me that this was a place that had remained true to itself for decades despite all the movement and transformation going on around it.”
Blended earthy colours lul the viewer, as the mesmerising seaweed continuously flows back and forth, fish sleepily circling the same rectangular space as she sings:
Among the old-fashioned grandeur and muffled silence, Cameron disarms us by evoking a sense of stillness.
The video is removed from the garish colour and noise and anxiety of the outside world, and we enjoy the moment’s release as we too become motionless with her, contemplating the ghosts of the past.
I Lay Where You Lie Album Tour
13 & 15 July, Bello Winter Music Festival, Bellingen
9 Aug, Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
10 Aug, Junk Bar, Brisbane
18 Aug, The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine
25 Aug, Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Sydney