Los Angeles-based Holy Wars have released the video for their new single "Legends," skewering society's obession with fame and the pressure to always be living one's best life.
Shot and Directed by Erin Naifeh in collaboration with Holy Wars front woman Kat Leon, “Legend” was produced by Hunter Burgan from the rock band AFI and engineered by Mat Mitchell and Jeff Sahyoun. In keeping with the band's dark-noir ambient aesthetic, "Legends" introduces fans to the Identities, faceless, genderless characters who represent humans stripped down to their simpliest form. Instead of building us up, the Indentities slowly chip away at our individualism and push us toward a unpalatable sameness, packaged for mass consumption.
"Legend" is heavy on stark, unsettling imagery and hypnotic symbollism that's both strangly beautiful, and at times, disturbingly transcendent. Much of the video is set inside Purgatory — a meadering middle realm between Heaven and Hell — housed in society's most purgatory-like institution, the corporate office. Scenes from the video are reminiscent of "A Clockwork Orange" with brightling lit, often contradictory visual imagery and choreography that leaves one feeling both satiated and unsettled, as if slowly sucumbing to the comforts of death.
That embrace of grief and the banalities of pain are what fuels Leon, who unexpectedly lost both her parents in 2015. The Holy Wars have been percolating on the LA rock scene for a few years, with a live show that feels more like avant-garde performance art than a rock gig. While the lyrics of her music are generally quite dark, Leon voice singing and music are really powerful with a vocal range that has come up against few boundaries. The band's second EP is due out in the fall.