L.A. Takedown mastermind Aaron Olson knows something about viruses. Last time we looked in on him, he was setting his song “The Swimmer” to a 40-year-old video on the “Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus,” co-produced by his scientist father Arthur.
“The Swimmer” is from the third L.A. Takedown album “Our Feeling of Natural High,” which came out Friday. So is “When It’s Over,” the genteel album closer that features vocals from Nedelle Torrisi and Yukihiro Takahashi of the Yellow Magic Orchestra.
It’s a pillowy hymn to love, and the life that goes on with or without it: “Where will our love go? / (When it’s over) / Trees and flowers will grow once more / when it’s over.”
The video, a simple but symbolic affair directed by Olson and David Feeney-Mosier, features the artist and his band (Jessica Espeleta, Stephen Heath and Miles and Mose Wintner) performing on an ordinary L.A. street … mundane except for the thriving ficus tree towering over them. As amplified by Allison Schulnick’s painting on the album cover, the tree’s beauty is the kind you often take for granted. Until you don’t.
“The large ficus trees (ficus microcarpa) of Los Angeles were a big inspiration on the whole for ‘Our Feeling of Natural High’ — the element of nature/natural that they bring to an otherwise lifeless sprawling slab of concrete, the way they sway in the wind as many individual parts but come together to make a whole pulsating tesselation, the power with which they can dwarf a gas-guzzling Chevy Suburban,” Olson says. “And, as with the record’s cover, I wanted to insert and assert the ficus as a crucial element of L.A.’s iconic landscape. Palm trees are fine and all, but the ficus is everywhere, beautiful, trippy, imposing, iconic, and there just waiting to be appreciated.”
In sum, “Our Feeling of Natural High” is the soundtrack for that kind of appreciation.
||| Watch: The video for “When It’s Over”
||| Also: Stream the album in its entirety