A DAY WITH: STILL HOUSE PLANTS
“ That ethos of chopping things up and sampling it ”
It is to the rhythm of shots that capture moments, jagged, temporary, instantaneous, that Slam Jam presents “A day with: Still House Plants”
The landscape is that of a lived-in South London, an imperfect but deeply alive, real and fascinating setting that best represents the soul of the faces in this campaign.
Still House Plants, and more specifically Jessica Hickie-Kallenbach, Finlay Clark and David Kennedy, are a London band that breaks the mold of the music scene, and combines music with art, performance, and experimentation.
Their artistic background - all three attended Glasgow School of art and initially started as a collective - is palpable and perceptible in their every song and performance.
They see it as a radical and punk thing to play sincerely and quietly, they like to play with contrasts, to break balances. An "intentional instability" and transversality that is eccentric and vulnerable at the same time.
A transversality, that of Still House Plants, which can be metaphorically associated with the transversality with which New Balance approaches the fashion world.
On the one hand, a mix of sounds, of styles, of contaminations - from club music, to R&B, to jazz, blues - merges with the underground, and concerts turn into performances. The unpredictable becomes the protagonist, and leaves it to chance, emotions, and people to write the story of each moment.
So too New Balance, though in a totally different field and languages, is open to change and experimentation.
All this without a pattern to follow, or so it would seem. For Still House Plants each performance is a blank canvas on which they don’t know at the outset what the final image will be. They have made restrictions their virtue and their misadventures a philosophy: that of self-sabotage.
As they themselves say, "if you are making things difficult, you should also make them beautiful."
This theatricality of theirs and this pushing the performance to extremes, a bit Marina Abramovic-like, makes their work something unique and fascinating. That famous "ethos of chopping things up and sampling it" that they talk about is perhaps what allows them to experiment with limits, and turn them into art.
And what drives one to go beyond that is just one thing: passion.
A David's passion for drums, an artist's passion for the unknown, Jessica's passion for singing, Fin's passion for guitar, an athlete's passion for the sport he plays.
That is the driving force behind Still House Plants.
The passion of one and the passion of many, the passion of a team of people. And perhaps the heart of it all is just that: the team.
Whether it is a London band, or a large American company, it doesn’t matter. What binds people together is working toward something you believe in, is the love you put into what you do.
And every moment, every snapshot, every sharp, jagged, recorded moment, has to be overlaid as layers, has to be mixed, and has to be “chop and then sampled”.