Today, Vera Sola released the second single,”The Colony,” off of her forthcoming debut album SHADES out November 9th. The single comes with a stunning companion video shot by cinematographer Damon James Duke at Bombay Beach.
Though a longtime member of Elvis Perkins’ band, SHADES marks her first solo effort. SHADES is available for both digital and vinyl pre-order now. Vera Sola recently completed a North American tour with the legendary Rodriguez. She continues to play select dates throughout the US including the Mercury Lounge in New York City on September 11th. Today, Vera Sola has announced a West Coast run of dates with Haerts in December. Full tour dates below.
A statement from Vera Sola on “The Colony”
I wrote ‘the Colony’ very quickly last fall in the days following my return from a while spent supporting native water protectors at Standing Rock. It is loosely the story of America, sung from the perspective of the collective white colonial consciousness. It was important to me in the studio that the lead vocal was delivered in a dismissive tone of casual entitlement, and that the background vocals served as a heavy counterpoint: a choir of the souls who suffered, and continue to suffer, at the hands of the invading oppressor. Voices stripped of language, and left to howl, relegated to the background, yet providing the very foundation of the song, and by metaphorical extension, this country. The whole thing is of course an indictment—a paean to the land and her people.
Singing as the “I” in this case is an example of my divided conscience and consciousness—taking responsibility for, and an acknowledgement of, my part in that collective oppression by virtue of my privilege as a white body. It’s a conscious effort to call attention to that, as well as a deep heart-felt apology.
For the video, I wanted to, as I did on the recording, embody both white colonist and physicalized spirit of the stolen country and it’s first inhabitants. I wanted the setting to convey the sublimity of nature while emphasizing its dissection by industrialism. The boats that brought the first Europeans. The trains that crisscross and divide the land, bear the cargo of capitalism and the individuals that would stake claim to wherever they stepped off the platform. The highways and the power plants and oil derricks and power lines that mark and mar the plains and deserts and forests. Aerial footage seemed key here—a watching from above as if from the perspective of floating souls.
I’ve spent a good amount of time recently in the town of Bombay Beach, on the Salton Sea, California’s largest inland body of water, and current site of critical man-made environmental disaster. It seemed the perfect place to evoke the above—the destruction of the natural landscape, the uprising of industry, actions of prospecting and taking and killing, wittingly or unwittingly.
I met the director of photography, Damon James Duke, at Bombay Beach and as soon as I saw his coverage of the surrounding area, I knew there was no one better for the project. A brilliant eye, and exceedingly intrepid, he was able to help me bring what I wanted to life with unparalleled ease. Together we shot it in essentially a single 101-degrees-in-the-shade day.