Believe it or not, music videos still exist. Sound Tracks trolls the internet to find the best and the worst of local artists’ new singles and the good, bad, or otherwise noteworthy visuals that accompany them.
Mantler, also known as Chris A. Cummings, has been a low-key fixture on the Toronto scene for more than 10 years. What started out as a solo bedroom-recording project blossomed into a full-out, laid-back synth-pop recording party on his 2010 release, Monody, featuring guests such as Sandro Perri, Ohbijou’s Anissa Hart, and Owen Pallett, as well as the Junior Boys‘ Jeremy Greenspan, who not only played on but produced the album at his Pistachio Studio in Hamilton.
“Breaking Past the Day,” the latest single from Monody, was actually shot back in the spring of 2010. It came out of a quiet day in Austin, Texas, while Mantler and director Colin Medley (whose work we’ve been big fans of in the past) were in town separately for the annual SXSW music festival. The footage sat untouched for a while, but Medley tells us its completion was, to him, better late than never. “I’ve been listening to his music for a long time, so it’s a good feeling having this done.”
Though the clip itself was directed and edited by Medley, the VHS footage was transferred by his production partner, Jared Raab. Watching the cable-access inspired video—which features Cummings (rather, Mantler) donning his trademark alter-ego white suit and visiting some interesting Austin sites—feels, as Medley says, almost from another time. “I like to pretend that it’s a lost music video from another era that someone found on a VHS tape. Totally just in its own world.”