Goodnight, Sunrise – Altar


Toronto-based band Goodnight, Sunrise has released a new video in an effort to share with their audience an experience about a darkness that has consumed many people. ‘Altar‘ is all about battling depression, and rising out of the darkness into the light. It’s a classic tale really. Metamorphosis has been a pretty key component in the human condition since…well since we had a species to call human, I’d wager.

The song itself has an interesting circularity to it that can do one of two things. It could either bore the passive listener or really engage the active listener. And this is not to suggest that it is inherently a boring song. But the essence of it is the cyclical nature of depression, and one can often find a complacency in that depression that disallows any real connection. Given that, it makes sense that some may not connect with the track. However, those who recognize this fact may very well be quite engaged by the song and the singer’s constant back and forth.

To the video, director Genevieve Blais picked a very interesting place to shoot. At least it is interesting for me as I used to work with a good crew in that venue. Those of you who worked alongside me know exactly what place this is. At any rate, the old and beat up church venue that is used in the film certainly is perfect for both the title of the track and to signify the many angles of depression (certainly a good number of us dealt with some dark issues in that space time and again).

The butterfly imagery, while intriguing, might be a bit too on the nose (almost literally). This video, of course, does not deal in subtlety. The distinction between black and white and the metamorphic imagery really do come heavily across. Given that this song is both meant as an aid to those in darkness, and a reminder to singer Vanessa Vakharia to remain in the light, that does make sense. Harsh lines drawn will leave little room for doubt regarding the tempting and cyclical nature of depression.

Goodnight1Technically, with regards to the shooting and editing of the video, I do have some gripes. For example, the dubbing is off pretty well for the entirety of the piece. Now, I can absolutely justify every issue I have, but I am left wondering about what was intentional and what was not. The offset dubbing (and slightly slowed motion) could be very much a point of the languishing and lethargy that are prominent in cases of depression. And the bunches of grapes, while I suspect that were remains from a wedding the night before, could be indicative of the gluttony that some can turn to in order to attempt staving off their depression.

All things considered though, this is a sensitive pouring out of one person’s heart, having dealt with darkness. And it is clear that singer Vanessa Vakharia wishes to share that story to aid others. Indeed, the video ends with information about how to get help when one is feeling depressed and/or pushed to the edge. And what better way to end this piece than with a little bit of how she opens the video?

“This song is about a darkness which once threatrened to destroy me, one so deep that I thought I would never be free. When anxiety and depression collide, we can find unhealthy ways to feel alive again. That’s what happened to me, what Altar is about. Music is one thing that helped me find my light. If you ever feel lost in the darkness, please know that you’re never alone.

Look out for Goodnight, Sunrise on Thursday, August 24th at Sneaky Dee’s. Hopefully you’ll catch them playing this very song live. Great venue and music…what more could you ask for?