Brooklyn shoegaze trio Dead Leaf Echo (LG Galleon, Ana Breton, Christo Buffam) recently released a spaced-out video for “I Belong,” their lovely b-side to “Kingmaker,” the first single off their upcoming debut LP. Although the dreamy “I Belong” is a vinyl-only, non-album release, it’s consistent with the lyrical theme of Thought and Language, “a concept album that follows the conception and birth of a child and his discovery of thought and language.”

The band describes their style as Nouveau New Wave, combining shoegaze, ambient, dream-pop, and other influences, but a better description might be a “surrealist film noir film by Terrence Malick,” says Ana. Produced by legendary 4ad records producer John Fryer (Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode, and Nine Inch Nails), Thought and Language, is set for a release sometime this fall. I recently had a chance to ask LG and Ana a few questions, check out the interview below!

How did you meet art director Aaron Maurer and decide to collaborate with him?
LG-We were introduced through a mutual friend and then he showed us his portfolio. After looking at it, I picked certain inked drawings that I knew would match perfectly with the song.

What was your inspiration for the video and how did you come up with the concept?
LG- Water is the primary element of the band so when I saw some of Aaron’s ink/watercolor drawings I knew that this is something that would work with DLE and instantly thought of this song. Water runs through the sound of the band and in its visual work. It is always represented in our films or backdrops. It is as big of an influence as another iconic artist or piece of art in another medium. It is nature which is what every artist is artificially imitating.

The lyrical content of the song is about submission from one being to another and how a complete and inseparable bond can be made from devotion. Then when that is taken away instantaneously how they can still continue on and are completely defined now because of that separation. In our new album the relationship is designed to work around a mother and her son but the lyrics can also be taken universally so we filmed it working around the band members taking on those roles.

Could you talk about the filming and editing process?
LG-We filmed with Aaron on the roof of his apartment building in Williamsburg in one freezing cold morning in January. All the editing was done by Aaron. He sent me rough’s and we went from there. Aaron took the musical mood and the lyrical content and really ran with it once the animations came into play.

Any plans to work with Aaron again?
LG-Really hope we can work with him again on our next video. Up to this point I’ve directed all of the other videos for DLE and it’s been really hard to find someone that has the same vision so it’s been completely liberating to work with him.  It should happen again.

Tell me a bit about working with John Fryer on the recording of Thought and Language.
LG- He came to Brooklyn to track the basics with us and we tried to get him drunk to tell us all his stories and spill the beans.  He drank his beers slow and he told us some great stories. I also got to go to Oslo to do the mixing with him and he was kind enough to let me come to his home studio and cook up some great meals after a mix session.
AB- I loved meeting him he’s a total character. It’s great to hear his stories from the past.

You’ve also played with some incredible bands and musicians (APTBS, Psychedelic Furs, Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss) in the past. Who would you love to play with if you had the chance?

LG- Doves would be nice in the UK. Deerhunter might work with us. The Cure or The Bunnymen would be a trip. I think there might be too many people in line for the Ride reunion tour.
AB- I really want to set up a show with Lorelei and Versus.

Many thanks to LG and Ana for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’re in the New York area and planning to attend the CMJ festival this year, Dead Leaf Echo is set to play Vaudeville Park in Brooklyn on October 18. Additional tour dates are below. Stay tuned to their official website and Facebook for more dates as they are announced.

October 11 – Late Bar, Chicago
October 19 – PA’s Lounge, Boston
October 20 – Ding Dong Lounge, New York, NY
October 24 – Pi Lam House, Philadelphia
October 25 – Red Palace, Washington, DC
October 26 – Golden West Cafe, Baltimore

To purchase the vinyl of “I Belong,” please contact the band directly at info@deadleafechonyc.com

Photos courtesy of Dead Leaf Echo.

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