Premiere: Iain T. McKelvey and the Midnight Tangos release lush, evocative video for the slow burning track ‘Who I Was’, and announce launch gig.

Feature Photograph: Thea Elder

We are honoured to premiere the new video from Sydney band Ian T. McKelvey and the Midnight Tangos, created for the languid and slow burning track that is ‘Who I Was’.

‘Who I Was’ simmers with a deep intensity – crisp guitars feature and a distant haunting saxophone refrain adds an indelible atmosphere while singer Iain McKelvey’s voice has a deep resonance filled with pain, loss and resilience. McKelvey says of the track:

Facing down your shadows can be tough, but I also think it’s important to remember that they don’t have to dictate who we are or who we can be. I wanted this song to almost be a defiant celebration of everything that we are, the good and the bad and the in between. Ultimately If your shadow is going to stick around, I wanted a song that you could at least slow dance with it to.

The track exudes a whiskey-soaked red velvet lounge late night sense of excess and regret: a violin scrape underlying the sweeping, cinematic vision adding a barbed-wire edge. This is an epic and stately track – touched with a bit of americana and a just a touch of gothicism.

Set in an iconic Sydney venue, The Vanguard, the video, produced by Ashleigh Pepper, tilts its hat at the revered establishment – lush and opulent surroundings echoing and preserving the past but brought to life beautifully by the music it hosts. The dancer manages to encapsulate and express the emotions of a live music venue from the euphoric highs to the post gig comedown crash and after hours emptiness. McKelvey says:

Having worked in a number of music venues over the years I always really enjoyed this strange feeling that existed in the quiet of opening the venue. No one is there, it’s silent but there is this air of fantasy for what could be, what is about to happen. I feel like everyone who works at a live music venue is there for a shared reason and passion. I think it’s super important, particularly now, to champion the venues that host us and I wanted the video to emulate the magic that can happen within them. The Vanguard is such a special venue for us, they’ve supported the band from day dot. To be able to film there was surreal and a beautiful addition that magic.

The result is an epic and heartwarming depiction of any venue – both full and in action with the band performing, and poignantly empty:

‘Who I Was’ is out now through Evening Records and available to download and stream here.

Iain T. McKelvey and the Midnight Tangos will be launching the single on Saturday, 27 November 2021 at Waywards in Sydney – full details and tickets here.

Feature Photograph: Thea Elder

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