The High Dials “My Heart Is Black”

The High DialsArtist:
F. R. Lutchmedial
Add Date:
March 19, 2004


Greetings, folks! Once again we’re just tickled to be teaming up with the fine people at Rainbow Quartz Records and to share in their aim of searching the world over to bring you the finest in new musical talent. You can always count on this label for guitar-oriented rock, power pop , and psychedelica ; and this new clip from Canadian quartet The High Dials is no exception.

The High Dials began life in Montreal as The Datson Four; and established a solid reputation in their home environs and abroad as an outstanding live band. Their recording See! was named Album of the Year by Montreal’s Ici. A while later, after signing with Rainbow Quartz and preparing the new album, along come The Datsuns and D4 from New Zealand, and suddenly their very name threatens to get them lost in the shuffle. At the suggestion of good friend Little Steven – Steven Van Zandt (The E Street Band, The Sopranos ), a name change was in order – enter The High Dials.

A New Devotion, the band’s first CD under the new moniker, is a true rarity these days, a concept album (in the manner of Cursive’s The Ugly Organ ). As singer Trevor Anderson explained in a recent interview : “We’re inspired by the more adventurous bands out there who still try to make great albums. The Flaming Lips are a prime example. I like a good vapid pop tune like the next guy, but it’s the albums – the ones that keep giving up new secrets: those are the ones we really hunger for.“

“My Heart is Black”, the song featured in the clip, is not so much a throwback to the music of the late sixties as a reincarnation more at home in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The song structure is deceptively complex and decidedly idiosyncratic, having more in common with contemporaries like Blur than with the straight ahead style of earlier influences like The Kinks. The band devotes their considerable talent to crafting melody, harmony, texture, and subtlety. You won’t find any histrionic sound and fury here.

Visually, the clip is also evocative of earlier times, when the principal tool of the REALLY independent filmmaker was the Nizo Super 8 camera with the variable intervalometer. If that’s not what director F. R. Lutchmedial used here, he’s managed to capture the look perfectly, even down to the “hair in the film gate” artifact. The video is a thematic study in confinement, with a refrigerator door as an entrance, and with much of the action taking place in a cramped, dingy room lit by bare bulbs. Even in the “public” places, the band members are symbolically confined, whether by fence rails, the narrow well of an escalator, or the chrome handholds on a city bus. It ties in beautifully with the above mentioned album “concept”.

As always, we here at HIP Video want to meet all of your High Dials and Rainbow Quartz needs. The High Dials will be performing three shows in Austin during SXSW, and we can set you up there with interviews or video Ids for your programs. As always, you can call 732-613-1779, or e-mail

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