Allie Crow Buckley’s recent singles have been like riding full-tilt on a playground carousel, spinning into and through mystery and mythology, embracing a sound more kaleidoscopic than the hazy psych-folk on her 2021 debut album, “Moonlit and Devious.” A lyric in her new single captures the feeling: “Head back sailing through to the unknown.”
That song, “Greatest Hits” (out today), introduces the singer-songwriter’s sophomore album, “Utopian Fantasy,” out May 19 via Nettwerk.
The album, recorded at the 4AD Studio in London and produced with Jason Boesel (Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes) between a lush cottage in the English countryside and the rustic mountains of Ojai, finds Buckley annotating a reality that, perhaps, she’s not even sure of.
“It is the sort of feeling of leaving your body — as one does during times of immense stress or when chaos ensues. Escapism of sorts,” she says of the album. “These themes occur throughout the record — from references to Dionysus (god of wine and chaos) to the myth of Cupid and Psyche. Resigning yourself to whatever is — a sort of submission to chaos. Like in the myth of Apollo and Dionysus. Being naked at the feast, the idea of that vulnerability of just awaiting your fate. How we all long to be carried by Zephyr, the wind, from our fate into a bed of flowers. Just as in the myth of Cupid and Psyche. But what comes next? Coming to terms with your new reality. Like being lost in the realm of the faery, and reemerging years later. Feeling as if it were all one day or one dream.”
Directed by Jeanette Getrost with cinematography Micah Van Hove (Weyes Blood, Tim Heidecker), the video for “Greatest Hits” captures the spirit of the song. Which, Buckley says, is “riding top down through purgatory — resigning to whatever is. The feeling of leaving your body, as one does when chaos ensues. A psychedelic laugh!”
Says Getrost: “The forest was an important setting for this video as much of Allie’s writing of this record involved being so close both in proximity and her relationship to nature. I referenced a lot of imagery from Greek myth and Czech fairy tale films, as well as some time in the English countryside where Allie and I spent one evening watching Rock and Roll Circus and Zeppelin performances. What derived from this was essentially a narrative on inspiration and the mystery and wonder of the creative process — the result being a wild trip in the forest.”
||| Watch: The video for “Greatest Hits”
||| Live: Allie Crow Buckley plays tonight at Gold-Diggers, joined by Spring Summer. Tickets.