In the middle of filming the video for “The Mirage,” Heather Bond decided to kick off her heels, not just for the comfortability factor, but to foster the intimate atmosphere she was aiming for. Surrounded by tall plants, dimly lit lamps, and paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, Bond wanted to create a “relaxing, chill vibe” for the visual, premiering today via Audiofemme.
The song is Bond’s second co-write with accomplished bassist Viktor Krauss, and became a favorite on local indie radio station Lightning 100 – so much so it was named to the station’s top 100 songs of 2021. “It’s one of those reflective songs that I think everybody can relate to,” Bond explains. It was inspired by the nostalgia of thinking about past relationships, how they change over time, and how they shape us. “When you’re looking at everything in retrospect, suddenly everything is very clear, [even if] at the time it wasn’t, and it feels messy and muddy and you’re trying to figure out who you are and who you are in a relationship,” Bond says. “From a distance it’s very clear – wouldn’t that be nice if we could recognize that in the moment?”
Bond had never performed the song live – until she assembled a supergroup of female musicians and background vocalists at The Studio in Nashville. Describing the experience as “surreal,” Bond reveals that it was an “emotional” day of filming, hearing her song come to life with such an exceptional group of players. “The energy was really cool,” she adds.
Bond takes center stage with an iconic ’70s-inspired look: burnt orange leather pants and geometric patterned shirt to match. Accompanying Bond is Megan McCormick on guitar, Melissa Mattey at the piano, Elizabeth Chan on drums, Krauss on bass and Devonne Fowlkes and Emoni Wilkins serving up background vocals. “I have never played music with a whole group of women, so that was surprisingly a very powerful experience for me,” Bond expresses, citing them as “talented, beautiful and so kind.”
What makes the video particularly unique is the way Bond allows each person their moment to shine, the camera capturing each performer’s gifts and the way they light up the room, whether Mattey is grooving to the melody on keys or Chan is transfixed on Bond, while Fowlkes and Wilkins fall into a rhythm with the singer as they sway to the beat in synchronicity.
For Bond, it was important to give each person their moment in the spotlight. “I told Craig [Hill] that I really wanted him to focus on everybody. There are certain artists that really highlight their band members and I think it’s amazing – it’s my song and I’m singing this song, but the whole thing would not come together without each performer. So I wanted to highlight everybody, and they’re all so good,” she praises. “I love how I felt like each of them were so committed and connected to what we were doing in the moment.”
At one point, the camera crosses over Wilkins to find McCormick getting lost in the melody during her guitar solo, allowing the feeling of the song to take over her hands as she played. “I love that moment where she’s just grooving on the guitar. I’ve watched that quite a few times,” Bond says. “I get lost for a second. This was the first time hearing my songs with the full band, and so when there’s a moment that I’m not singing and it’s just the music and Megan is playing this gorgeous solo, I was able to sink in and lose myself for a bit.”
Getting lost in the moment and overtaken by the music was one of Bond’s goals for the video, and it also reflects the ’70s and ’80s influences of her upcoming album, The Mess We Created, out February 25th. “We wanted it to match the way that the record sounds and feels. I wanted for it to feel relaxed, like a mix between a studio and living room thing where you feel like you’re in the room and hanging out with each player as they’re taking their turn on camera,” she describes.
She also wanted to bring a sense of solace to viewers after a chaotic couple years of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Life has not been easy for anybody, and the past two years have been pretty intense,” she says. “I’ve been very lucky in a lot of ways. I know people have had it much worse. I definitely need those times where I slow down and reflect and remind myself [that] it’s going to be all right. You’ve been through some stuff, you’re going to go through more, but right now, take it in and let go what you need to let go. So a lot of the songs on the record are like that for me, just accepting what has happened, letting it go and trying to move forward.”
With a live EP to follow The Mess We Created on March 25th, Heather Bond is already looking ahead. She hopes listeners will do the same, while drawing a sense of tranquility and clarity from the song itself. “One of my favorite things when I’m listening to music is when I put on a song and it makes me feel nostalgic or makes me start thinking about my life and who I loved and who I’ve lost and I’m not even necessarily honed in on the specific lyrics, it’s just a feeling,” she observes. “So that’s how I hope that ‘Mirage’ translates – you’re listening to it and the feeling takes over and you’re able to reflect.”
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