I’m just going to say this upfront: “Jaime” from Brooklyn-based trio Painted Zeroes makes my brain explode with delight. Holy shit, what a great song! Lead vocalist/guitarist Katie Lau is actually the brain trust here: writing all the songs under the name Painted Zeros and recording everything herself, then mixing it on her laptop. Girl Power! Drummer Jared Kaner (who also co-directed the video) and Bassist Nolan Eley round out the live band. Seriously, they kick so much rock ass.
Below, Katie breaks down “Jaime” in formal terms and explains the enigmatic video you will be seeing in this post:
“In many ways, “Jaime” follows traditional song structure and content tropes of ‘rock’ songs about love (or lust,) but it is also a tongue-in-cheek parody. On the EP, there is a sound byte right before “Jaime” that makes this more obvious. The main guitar riff alternates between establishing a major and minor tonic (E-G-G-B-e-A-C-D) reflecting the “ups and downs of L U V” and the lyrics make fun of the ridiculous lyrical clichés that tend to fill pop and rock songs. “Jaime” is definitely not about a real person. “Jaime” tries to occupy the archetype of every desperately sung name in the history of pop songwriting.
She continues, “The video came from an idea I had of a free word association game based off the word “Desire.” We got our friends to come to our practice space where I recorded the Svalbard EP, gave them a fifth of Jack, and had them sit in a circle and write whatever words came to mind following the previous one and then burn them. My drummer Jared and our good friends, Hanan and Lysette shot, edited and directed the whole thing, and we used our friend Danny’s old photo studio to shoot the band scenes.”
I love that story.
As an aside, this song reminds me in the best possible way of U2’s brilliant “Bullet the Blue Sky.” It took me a few listens to hear the similarity, but maybe you’ll pick it out as well.
Painted Zeroes’ Svalbard EP will be available July 15th via Black Bell Records. If all the songs on it are as good as “Jaime,” you should definitely buy it. Enjoy!