L.A. based indie band Sad Robot is not trying to confuse you, but they're not about to spoon-feed you either. The sounds and themes from the debut single off their new album Aprés Moi Le Déluge stray from the tracks of albums past. And the official video for "Fear Me," premiering exclusively on Fuse today, is no different.
You might think the graceful brunette who alternates between a bloody solo and emotive close-ups is no more than frontwoman Katherine Pawlak, but you'd be very wrong. Pawlak also stepped behind the camera for this video, making her first foray into directing, much to the chagrin of her management team. "I knew there was going to be a lot of confusion," Pawlak says of letting another woman star in the clip. "I just said why not? They’ll think that. Why not do it different?"
Pawlak's bravery is a direct reflection of the power and fearlessness that is intrinsic to the new single. The video, which stars the lithe and mercurial dancer and actress Sara Silkin, is a love letter to the bullied, written upon a backdrop of chaos. Pawlak says the concept came from the notion of a character like Stephen King's Carrie White:
"I thought, 'How amazing would it be to have this song be an expression for a victim who becomes a villain?' I think that's the most dangerous person. Somebody who is hurting so deeply, who has been bullied and terrorized in some way."
The quiet ballad "Fear Me" is a lullaby of screw-offs made for anyone rising against odds. Originally inspired by the heartbreak and insecurity caused by an ex-boyfriend, Pawlak's vocals are powerful and painful without being overpowering. She says the lyrics are a "fuck you to him and a fuck you to the me that I used to be."
It's been quite a year for Pawlak and Sad Robot. Pawlak joined forces with bandmate and guitar-slayer Nick Perez to write, record and create a sound that feels more authentic to the band's new self, less like the influences that shaped earlier work.
The two have joined forces as a romantic couple as well, and if that is what has brought out the happy robot in Pawlak and the creepy robot in the new sound, we're all for it. Perez has also been the cheerleader behind Pawlak's decision to revisit her film roots and stay true to her vision for the video.
Catch up on Sad Robot here and pre-order the new album Aprés Moi Le Déluge, coming June 23, here. If the new single is any indication of what's to come, we can't wait to hear what the rest of the album has in store.