Jun 15, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Monica Reyes
Mike Deni, frontman of indie pop outfit Geographer, needed a change of pace in 2018. He had already released three albums of vibrant synth pop in San Francisco, including 2008’s Innocent Ghosts, 2012’s Myth, and 2015’s Ghost Modern. Burnt out with the Bay Area, Deni relocated to Los Angeles and began work on his 2019 EP, New Jersey, and his fourth album, Down and Out in the Garden of Earthly Delights.
Inspired by the beauty and pain of his new home, Deni penned a new record of sound experiments, pulling from the edges of folk, synth pop, shoegaze and more. Last week, Deni released his latest single, “Hollow (Do You?)” and he’s now back this week with the single’s accompanying video, premiering with Under the Radar.
“Hollow (Do You)”—one of two collaborations on the record with singer/songwriter Evalyn—sees Deni trading between his ringing falsetto and colorful harmonies over a supremely catchy synth pop instrumental. Deni’s synth soundscapes shift and pulsate, occasionally pulling back for a guitar solo, at other times bursting forth for the shimmering chorus. The accompanying video is similarly fluid, tracking Deni through a desert trek that gradually is taken over by over-laid blue-tinted effects.
Deni says of the track, “I got connected to the Valdez [directors of the video], and once I saw their work, I was so excited because it’s very unique in the way they layer text and images. I can tell it’s in an artistic conversation with references, but I couldn’t tell you what those references are. And that’s exciting, that’s how I hope to create as well, to send my love for something that already exists into making something unrecognizable as anything but something new.”
“And the video ultimately speaks to the alluded to the theme of the song, the inner vs. outer worlds we live in; One all our own, that we can never even explain coherently to another person, and the other the shared, public world, a supposedly universal, objective place that has a concrete feeling, but is in reality (and I use the word lightly) subjective because the same place is seen through so many conflicting and disparate lenses, each convinced they are the only one.”
Check out the song and video below and watch for Down and Out in the Garden of Earthly Delights, out November 12th via Nettwerk Records.