Video: Moon Honey, ‘That Dog’

Moon Honey (Photo by Sheva Kafai)

Purveyors of colorful, fluttery psych beauty, Moon Honey have released a visual gem of their love song to depression, “That Dog.”  Gorgeously directed by Victoria Innocenzi (co-directed by Colleen Louise Barry and singer Jess Joy Ramsey), it features vast ocean, meadow, forest and desert landscapes with Ramsey garbed in black being dragged from a wagon by a mysterious hooded figure. Her dark repose with closed eyes gives the impression of death, dreaming and the recline of depression, framed by her striking red hair punctuating the darkness. Indeed, these themes were widely explored in a collaborative art installation with Barry’s Mount Analogue studio that was held earlier this year at Non Plus Ultra as a part of the “Conversations with Women” series, giving physical shape to the song’s subject. 

Ramsey’s musical partner and the song’s co-writer Andrew Martin said, “The music video began as an art installment built by [Ramsey and Barry]. They built a black dog sculpture (which represented depression) that ate dreams and was featured in the video. … Scenes were shot across in Malibu, Lancaster and the band’s home in Silver Lake.”

Said Ramsey of the song, “‘That Dog’ was written in questions. It could be paraphrased as: Can you accept my depression as I take responsibility for it? I chose the black dog [as] the subject of conversation, because the black dog is infamously a symbol for depression as well as a completely lovable creature in real life. It was an attempt to alter my complex view of depression to a more manageable, complete, honorable, lovable personality trait.”

Like the scenes in the video where Ramsey consults the mysterious hooded figure across a symbolic “actuarial table,” pointing also symbolically below the table at her black dog, working with Barry on the installation helped her separate herself from the song’s themes and gain further awareness about herself and her artistry. “I think this is a huge shift in my own thinking that has come about in the recent year, and in the writing of ‘That Dog’ and the album in general. I’d like to think that we somewhat transcended our sadist tendencies with this project by focusing not on death, but the awareness and goodness that comes with the knowledge of death. Our whole goal in exploring the body of depression was to form it into something we can physically touch and transform into something lovable. And I think it did help me,” mused Ramsey.

Their upcoming album, “Mixed Media on Woman,” produced and mixed by John Goodmanson (Blonde Redhead, Sleater Kinney, Deathcab for Cutie), will be released Sept. 4.

||| Watch: The video for “That Dog” 

||| Also watch: The video for “Betta Fish” 

||| Live: Moon Honey will play on June 14th at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles at MacArthur Park (opened by the Paranoyds) (Free show) and on June 16th at At the Top in Long Beach. 

||| Previously: “Moon Honey Loves L.A.” (A Buzzbands LA Playlist)“Betta Fish,” “The Cathedral”