It’s been a slow, slow burn waiting for more from Flora & Fawna, but the Austin electro-pop duo delivers with a tantalizing new video for “Slow Burn.” The video follows the tumultuous night of a couple pursued by a red-cloaked malevolent spirit. Equal parts seductive and sinister, the nighttime visuals match the song’s woozy hypnotism.
Flora & Fawna melds the creative talents of singer-songwriter Lili Hickman Waldon and producer, multi-instrumentalist Mason Ables into an effortlessly cool electro-pop sound, reminiscent of EXES and Oh Wonder. The pair met by chance while Ables played in a soul band and Hickman Waldon did folk music. They quickly discovered how Ables’ danceable production suited Hickman Waldon’s ethereal vocals, releasing “Slow Burn” as Flora & Fawna’s first single in May 2019. Soon after in Sep. 2019, they were named a 2019 KUTX Artist of the Month preceding the release of their eponymous debut EP.
Self-described as “music that makes your plants grow,” Flora & Fawna’s chilled-out pop feels tailor-made for late-night driving during hazy summer nights. They lean into this imagery with the “Slow Burn” music video, which opens with Ables and Hickman Waldon rushing into a car under a bruised violet sky. Night falls, bringing with it the danger of a ghostly red woman who commences a relentless chase of the couple. Shots of headlights on the dark road and the overhanging moon are cut together with brief moments of tranquility where the pair rests against the car, washed in deep pink hues. But the threat of the haunting specter feels ever-present, an ominous manifestation of the “force you can’t escape” that Hickman Waldon sings about in the track.
Director Kirk Van Sickle felt the song’s sensuality lent itself to a supernatural element.
“After speaking to Flora & Fawna, we both agreed right away that the visual language of ‘Slow Burn’ needed to match the moodiness, sexiness and the looming danger within the song itself,” Van Sickle said. “Inspired by ’80s low-budget horror films, the ‘Slow Burn’ video features our band driving into the alluring night, only to find that a demon has followed them.”
The danger comes slowly until it doesn’t. By the video’s mesmerizing climax of rapidly shifting and double-exposed images, the protagonists’ fate is inescapable, fulfilling the song’s prophecy — “can’t run, it’s too late.”
With their packed calendar for March, you don’t have to wait long for more Flora & Fawna. They’ll be celebrating the “Slow Burn” video with a release show on Friday, March 6 at Cheer Up Charlie’s with Indoor Creature and TC Superstar. Catch them again during a free KUTX live broadcast at the UT at SXSW event at Fairmont Austin on Friday, March 13. The pair is also an official SXSW artist — find more details on their showcase schedule here.
– Annie Lyons, KUTX