- 05 Nov 21
Alternative artist Conor Thornton's latest project sees him occupy the persona of Vick Valentine - a nightclub singer who plays the lonely lounges of XS City.
Dublin-based musician Conor Thornton has shared the brand new video for 'Blue Room', which appears on his his Despair & Devotion in XS City record.
Inspired by Serge Gainsbourg’s sensuality, Vladimir Nabokov’s wordplay, Stanley Kubrick’s hidden details, David Lynch’s sense of mystery and Vegas-era Elvis' fading glamour; Despair & Devotion in XS City
is Thornton's conceptual vision.
Directed by Collective Films, the accompanied video for 'Blue Room' portrays the character of Vick Valentine - a nightclub singer who plays the lonely lounges of XS City. Haunted by the pain in his heart and the dreams of who he thought he’d be, Vick struggles to find his place in a world he no longer recognises.
Shot back in February, 'Blue Room' the final track to be shared from the album, which Conor Thornton is releasing as a full record on a limited run of 100 vinyl next Thursday, 11th November.
After first hearing 'Blue Room', director Greg Purcell from Collective Films asked Conor to collaborate.
"I was delighted to do it, as I am a big fan of Greg's work," Thornton tells Hot Press. "Greg was familiar with the story of the album and we shared similar tastes and reference points. We quickly developed a shorthand in what turned out to be a great working relationship and a close friendship."
"We got the brilliant cinematographer Kenneth Adams (also in Collective Films) involved and the three of us set about shooting a narrative about this lone ranger character on the plains of a future dystopian city - a stylised neon noir western kind of thing," Conor continues.
"The strange situation the world was in turned out to be the ideal backdrop for the desolate XS City that had already been written a year prior to any notion of a lockdown. A bizarrely fortunate turn of events for the final cherry of this project."
In XS City, reality and fantasy are blurred: "Everything looks better here in the soft focus of fantasy".
Each song on the record is set in a differing place. From the smoke memory of 'Switch Blade' we realise we are sitting in the 'Cinema of Dreams' "in the dark lounge of his daydreams". Next, we take a trip in a Cadillac Deville through the XS City streets in 'The Car Bar', "trapped in a prison of fine Italian leather seats". The destination is the surreal speakeasy 'Meta No.4', where Vick plays regular shows "among the killers and the lovers in their private booths".
The album's final setting is the 'Blue Room' - where Vick lives in XS City.
"The sky's ink spilled on us
As the night undressed
And we slow dance to the sound
Of our apocalypse"
The whole of Despair & Devotion in XS City was recorded on an 8-track reel in Conor's bedroom.
"From doing everything myself - writing, producing and recording the album in my bedroom and designing the sleeve and artwork, it feels very special to make what was in my head a reality and have a physical product to hold and to touch," Conor emphasises.
Check out the video for 'Blue Room' below: