Ariel // Stateless

The Arcade has always loved what England has to offer: high tea, pubs, the Beatles… the list goes on and on. And straight out of London, the band Stateless is just one more reason to heart our English brothers. As singer and writer Chris James explains, the band is an electronic-based fusion of song and lyrics. “I’d describe it as unique,” James says, “although there are other bands who do this, like The Knife and Bjork, [but] our sound is very different to theirs, it has its own personality.” Watch the video for “Ariel” and Stateless’ personality will overcome you. It is soulful and vivacious; combining West African guitar licks with a moving electronic sound. What could make “Ariel” even better? A collaboration with FIELD, the interdisciplinary design studio based out of London.

Chris explains that “Ariel” explores the “age-old struggle between good and evil within all of us. Ariel is the goddess of healing, and she is battling with the devil in a spirit world.” Marcus Wendt and Vera-Maria Glahn of FIELD explain that “Motion capture technology had been on [our] list of things to try out for a while yet, and the song ‘Ariel’ with its story of the dance with the devil was the perfect opportunity. On the other hand, we wanted to boil down the detailed and fanciful narrative to the more abstract idea of opponent forces clashing, expressed in motion.”

Chris divulges what inspires him artistically, “Thousands of things,” he declares before going into detail: “dreams, fantasies, nature, technology, love, hate, war, peace, life, death, travel, home, just all the experiences life throws at me, good and bad.” It is easy to imagine how Stateless and FIELD worked so seamlessly on the creation of the music video for “Ariel,” as FIELD similarly attributes their influences to “modern art, nature, science and technology.” FIELD explains that they “want to create images that are alive, dynamic and animate.” The product of these influences take a familiar art form into another realm. “We think [music videos] are still a great format,” explain Marcus and Vera-Maria, “sound and image enhancing one another.”

Look out for Stateless’ new album, out in February.  FIELD will be ringing in the New Year with various new projects in Hong Kong, Paris, and beyond.

—Annick Mayer