It’s only a matter of time before Baltimore’s Tomato Flower will be your new favorite band on the planet. You’ll wake up one day to a resting arsenal of their t-shirts neatly folded in your dresser drawer. Stickers perfectly pressed onto the back of your laptop. An iron-on patch decorating a bland hand-me-down baseball cap, if that’s your thing. On their debut EP Gold Arc—released last Friday on Ramp Local—they gracefully pull influence from the past twenty-years of indie and experimental rock, all while subtly sneaking in pop hookworms that seem pulled from a bygone era.
Much like their music, there is a romantic air to the new music video for the EP’s newest single “Lovers Arc.” After the four-piece had found out a New York City show had been canceled, the band was still full of creative energy and began spitballing ideas on concepts their music video while on their drive back to Baltimore. Still riding high after they returned home, they had a full day off from tour and decided to shoot what they had discussed in drummer Mike Alfieri’s backyard. “It just worked. Mostly for convenience sake, I would say,” said Alfieri.
In the video, the group play the short song penned by guitarist Jamison Murphy surrounded by lush greenery. As the video progresses through it’s sub-two-minute runtime, flashes of the group’s hand mixing with paint. The colors are an earthy orangish-brown that brings to mind a sense of calm and closeness. It’s an emotion of romantic naturalism similar to what Murphy was hoping to achieve in the song.
“The song was compiled from two fragments written at different times: a section about longing for religious transcendence, an attempt to figure the unfathomable in sensory terms, and another section about wanting the act of falling in love to last forever,” said Murphy. “Both sections are about yearning for boundless love.”
While the band all came up with the concept and directed the video together, bassist Ruby Mars spent time editing and piecing together the video’s hazy love-sick and “voyeuristic” quality. Now that the EP is out, she is inspired to keep making collaborative visual concepts for the band in the future.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of music videos in general, and how musical moments can be cemented with certain editing / VFX maneuvers to make them iconic in some way,” she says, explaining, “For example the moment in the Rae Sremmurd ‘No Flex Zone’ video where a blunt is passed through the force field of the ‘No Flex Zone’ (laughs). I see music videos as sound-to-vision phrases, and I think it can always be productive and fun to express one art form in the language of another!”
Multi-instrumentalist and co-songwriter Austyn Wohlers echoes Mars sentiment. She edited the video for the band’s first single “Red Machine” and the process tapped into a new creative avenue that has inspired her to work on a new ambient project that will be coming out on Cloud Recordings later this Spring.
“For me it’s a very frenzied and intuitive process,” explained Wohlers. “You only have X number of clips and the paucity of materials to work with makes it feel like you are just reaching for the right permutation. Having such limited materials means necessarily you are groping around in the dark a bit more than with a song or with writing fiction, where the possibilities are basically endless. I like the sense of limitation.”
You can check out the video for “Lover’s Arc” below and click here to find Tomato Flower’s debut EP Gold Arc.