KATIE VON SCHLEICHER
Releases album standout single, “Wheel” Watch / share the accompanying video directed by V Haddad
Katie Von Schleicher releases “Wheel,” the standout single from her forthcoming album, Consummation, released on May 22nd 2020 via Full Time Hobby. Throughout “Wheel,” jangly guitar, uptempo percussion and Von Schleicher’s airy vocals contrast melancholy lyrics: “I’m alone in the house // with your mark all around // all cold windows, like suffering.” The accompanying video, directed by V Haddad (Big Thief, Florist) was composed remotely during our present isolation and features self-shot footage of Schleicher and other womxn / non-binary artists joining a group performance of “Wheel.”
“When I listened to Katie’s song ‘Wheel’ I immediately felt elated, connected and empowered,” says director V Haddad. “Her lyrics lead me to imagine what those feelings could look like in this moment: we reached out and collaboratively made a music video with 25 people who created their own video-portraits of their life right now. They show personal and collective power, perseverance and joy in a time of isolation, uncertainty and hardship. Through this collaboration we found a really special sense of hope and possibility even while being apart.”
Von Schleicher and Haddad will be donating their budget for the video to Safe Horizon, whose mission is to provide support, prevent abuse and promote justice for victims of domestic violence, their families and communities. Von Scheicher will also fundraise for Safe Horizon via her Spotify page at the end of this month. While stay at home orders aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus are necessary, violence in homes have increased — they hope to support those in need and bring visibility to an often invisible struggle.
“I feel really lucky to collaborate with V. on the video for Wheel,” says Von Schleicher. “She came to me with a real understanding of the record’s subtext, and her vision compliments the song so well. Her decision to donate her fee to support people who are vulnerable, isolated, and doubly affected by this pandemic was part of her initial pitch. It’s beautiful of her to offer that.”
The follow-up to her 2017 debut Shitty Hits, Consummation is, in part, inspired by an alternate interpretation of Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Von was struck by its largely unanalyzed subtext of abuse. She knew immediately that this hidden narrative, which spoke to her personal experience, would be the basis of her album. Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost also proved to be particularly influential; soon after revisiting Vertigo, Von Schleicher stumbled upon Solnit’s lacerating take on the film, describing the “wandering, , stalking, haunting” of romantic pursuit that it depicts as “consummation,” while “real communion”—understanding and mutual respect between two lovers—is, to the men in the film, “unimaginable.” The consequence is a fundamental failure of communication.
Throughout Consummation, Von Schleicher greatly expands her sonic palette; its 13 shape-shifting songs depicting a deeply personal exploration of trauma. The result is both potent and listenable; strange and familiar; intense and entertaining—and, perhaps most of all, teeming with life. At its core, Consummation evokes the pain of being unable to bridge that vast psychic distance between oneself and another. Can love that destroys, Von Schleicher asks, be love at all?
Watch the Video for “Caged Sleep”