Just before the final song of Cuzco's set Friday night at Snug Harbor, the band did what it had announced it would do: played the brand-new video for its song "Those Are Z's," from the band's 5-song EP A Medicine for Melancholy, released earlier this year. And just as Creative Loafing promised we'd do earlier this week, we're premiering the video exclusively here on the Vibes blog.
The video — directed by Mark Borja, Jake Rothwell and Tori Silinski — is a gentle and serene meditation on nature, melancholy and love set to Will Schoonmaker and Arman Serdarevic's delicate and precise guitar interplay, which often conjures the early-1980s progressive work of King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp. As the musical and visual narrative unfolds, a love story emerges, and Cuzco's unconventional shifts in tempo follow the story's sometimes jarring twists and turns.
But the transitions flow smoothly and naturally, thanks to the spare yet complex playing of Cuzco's rhythm section, drummer Dylan Robbins and bassist Matt McConomy. And then there are sweet, aching brush strokes of saxophone, from sax player Kevin Washburn, driving home the sense of melancholy at the heart of Cuzco's sound.
Books and balloons serve as signposts in the video's narrative — and as part of the band's performance on stage at Snug Harbor Friday night.
"The atmosphere [at the show] was awesome — we decked the place in purple balloons," Schoonmaker says. "Before our last song we premiered the video and everyone seemed to love it. It was a magical night and playing Snug is always a medicine to our melancholy."
Washburn, Schoonmaker and Serdarevic get intense at Snug Harbor on Friday. (Photo by Savannah Woodell)