Few artists possess the ability to convey loss and heartbreak with music built for late night contemplation quite like Puma Blue. It’s something that’s permeated through all of his work so far, from the desolation of his debut track ‘Want Me’ to the looped grooves of his previous release ‘Moon Undah Water’.
He’s already been backed by a number of influential DJs: Phil Taggart, Huw Stephensand Mura Masa at Radio 1; Giles Peterson at 6 Music; Julie Adenuga at Beats 1; and Jamz Supernova at 1Xtra. Vitally, such acclaim is backed by a growing cult following too, with three tracks from his debut EP ‘Swum Baby’ each passing a million streams each.
Now Puma Blue shares a teaser of his eagerly anticipated second EP with an animated video for the new track ‘as-is’. The track finds Puma Blue’s lyrics taking on a Southern Gothic quality, and their power is heightened by the minimalist instrumentation that underpins his words. ‘as-is’ is out now on Blue Flowers (Nilufar Yana, Westerman, Gotts Street Park.)
Directed by Alice Bloomfield, the video depicts its main character taking a nocturnal stroll through a city that’s submerged under water – a metaphor for feeling alone and being haunted by a broken relationship. From the neon signs that hang garishly over the city’s streets to the aquatic jazz band that echo Captain Beefheart’s ‘Trout Mask Replica’, the film mixes the everyday with a touch of the surreal to capture the emotion behind the song.
Bloomfield’s visual influences for the video are eclectic. There’s the vibrant imagery and futile atmosphere of Gaspar Noé’s ‘Enter The Void’; and the blend of Tokyo’s big city glamour and underground seediness that Nobuyoshi Araki captures in his photography. The stripped-back elegance of the locations was inspired by the Instagram account @Scenic_Simpsons, which posts images of the show’s backgrounds and inanimate objects without any of the characters being present.