Ears Wide Open: Kate Clover

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Kate Clover (Photo by Isack Morales)

Kate Clover is not new to Los Angeles music fans — she was a principal in ExSage and, before that, Cobalt Cranes.

She steps out as a solo artist today with the release of “Channel Zero,” a brisk, catchy rocker reminiscent of Blondie and first-wave punk rock. And not just in sound: The song is a volley across the bow of media sheep and gutless politicians, delivered with all the proper vocal mettle.

The tune was produced by Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles and the first of several she recorded in Mexico City with members of that band and Davila 666. “I needed a new headspace creatively, and Mexico City felt like maybe how Berlin felt in the late ’70s — expatriates working on their art and collaborating with each other,” says Clover, who sent demos to Welchez and then traveled there to flesh out the songs. “I wound up staying for two months and made my album.”

Director Ryan Rosewall’s video for “Channel Zero” is inspired by old government PSAs and the French New Wave and nods to Project MKUltra, a CIA-led mind control program. Says Rosewall: “The imagery and sound of the track quite simply transport you back in time, so Kate and I discussed wanting to stay true to a hyper-minimalistic approach that felt like stills of a French New Wave film. In the end, we were just really curious what an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ would look like if the television could seep into a drug-induced technicolor world.”

||| Stream: “Channel Zero”

||| Also: Watch video for the song

||| Live: Kate Clover opens for Death Valley Girls and Crocodiles on Nov. 3 at the Constellation Room (tickets) and on Nov. 23 at the Lodge Room (tickets).