Video premiere

Ultraviolet: Gold Star’s latest track was written in his dreams
By Alex James Taylor | Music | 15 September 2021
Photographer Cameron McCool

Gold Star / photography by Cameron McCool

“I started writing this song backstage at a festival in Dortmund, Germany,” says Marlon Rabenreither, the LA-based musician behind his Gold Star moniker, discussing the origin of his latest track, Ultraviolet – the accompanying video is premiered below. “I rarely have dreams that I can remember but for whatever reason I was having pretty vivid dreams on this tour and I started to jot them down.”

Ideas of travel, memories and journeys have long filtered through Rabenreither’s work – think to how his relocation from NYC to LA inspired his debut record Big Blue – but dreams offer a whole new dimension. It’s a source of inspiration that runs deep through the musician’s latest Gold Star EP, Headlights USA, which acts as a diaristic drive through literary references, sweeping vistas and collaged imagery stored from time spent touring throughout America. Sonically, this manifests as sweeping, instrumental textures that wash over troubadour tales of motel room stopovers, heavy nights and existential musings spotlighted by the stars.

“On the flight back to Los Angeles I remember attempting to discretely make a demo of the track using GarageBand on my phone,” Rabenreither continues. “I think I was worried the song would lose its connection to these dreams if I wasn’t able to capture it immediately.”

Translating these transient subconscious memories, Ultraviolet’s accompanying video, made by friend Clayton Hunt, is a daydream collage featuring vignettes shot on Super 8 film and then hand-spliced. “He then painted on the negatives with food dye and scratched out shapes and letters to create these effects,” Rabenreither expands.

Clayton Hunt, director, tells us: “I Wanted to keep it natural, follow around the gang, let our surroundings tell us where to point the camera and shoot, then take out the film, spool it back into the camera, and shoot it again, in different places. It’s Super 8, so re-spooling to double expose the film meant slicing open the cartridge in a windowless bathroom with a box cutter and rethreading it, all in the dark.

Once the film was processed, all the best moments were sliced out of the rolls, glued back together in no preplanned order, and drawn on/mucked up with various media. A Super 8 projector was used to get a sense of the rhythm and pacing but once that was all done it was finally scanned and lined up with the song.”

Gold Star / photography by Cameron McCool

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Gold Star: Headlights U.S.A. is out now. 

Gold Star / photography by Cameron McCool


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