WFF9O0i.jpg (JPEG Image, 638 × 356 pixels)
“Turn up the volume while we gather the ghosts.

In the past four years, Chicago’s Califone, fronted by principal songwriter Tim Rutili, has been quietly working on a follow-up to its 2009 album, All My Friends Are Funeral Singers. Dead Oceans will release the album in September. As a preview, the band created a pretty genius music video for the album’s first single, “Stitches.”

"Instead of writing from my balls and brain, this time I wrote from the nerves, skin, and heart," Rutili says of the album.

Califone circumvented a director, a script, and an hours-long video shoot, instead working with programmer Jeff Garneau and filmmaker Braden King and using Tumblr for the video’s imagery. The project, called Califone.Stitches, is “an ever-changing 'music video' that creates itself on the fly using imagery and animated GIFs drawn from a curated set of blogs within the Tumblr ecosystem.”

Once you launch the video, the viewer is instructed to “turn up the volume while we gather the ghosts.”

What follows is an eerily beautiful parade of dead bats, sinewy exoskeletons, and other somewhat gothic representations of nerves, skin, and heart that float by from right to left, soundtracked by Califone’s haunting harmonies—at least on my initial viewing.

Each viewing generates different black-and-white images—an emotive slideshow of the darker corners of Tumblr (some of the images, like the one below, are NSFW)—which you could get lost in for hours.

Musicians have certainly used Tumblr as a promotional tool, but Tumblr-sourcing a music  video is an interesting approach. You can click on any image and leave a message, reinforcing the interactive aspect, and letting fans stitch it together.

Screengrab via Califone.Stitches/Tumblr

Promoted Stories Powered by Sharethrough
Upstream
This is your life, reduced to a vinyl record
When you die, there’s a company that will press your ashes into a vinyl record—a jazz funeral at 33rpm.
tumblr
This couple's counter-protesting with pro-lifers, and documenting it on Tumblr
In late June, the Supreme Court rejected a law, enacted in 2007, that required 35-foot buffer zones around abortion clinics in Massachusetts. This law was intended to help minimize episodes of violence and harassment against women and families entering clinics, but the Supreme Court decided it violated the First Amendment.
Group

Pure, uncut internet. Straight to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!