On his first, official solo endeavor, Los Angeles, California native Curt Barlage, has taken a departure from any specified genre that may be pin pointed in his previous musical collaborations (The Bixby Knolls, Strange Phases, Red Hearts White Ribbons, Murci) and has essentially put the influences in an all-encompassing, aural blender with his debut single ‘So Long Cecilia’. This song is a melodic mish mosh that confidently displays the passion Curt holds for a wide varied and time spanning sound he has cultivated throughout the eras of his musical adventures. There’s a very organic, classic Americana vibe a la Neil Young and Leonard Cohen, but drenched in the ‘wall of sound’ technique from the shoegaze and psych template that could be heard with modern classic UK artists such as Slowdive and Spiritualized all in a broken, black hearted lyrical reflection of love dissolved into confusion, suffering and acceptance. A story we can all relate to, projected in a very vulnerable tale channeled through this sonically expansive ballad.
The music video was created and directed by Curt’s long time visual collaborator and friend, Steven Soria. It was shot in the winter of 2021 during the height of the pandemic and done so in a way that was protocol to production within those times. It was captured in Curt’s backyard with a very minimal crew and features the actual ‘Cecilia’ who was an unexpected, last minute addition to the shoot. Executed in the style of a slo-mo, vocally narrated concept, the twist would be the projectiles hurled at the protagonist whilst in the process of lip synching. As Curt recalls “It wouldn’t be the first time, I was once pelted on a drive-by egging, but having them thrown from five feet away…you definitely feel it. The tomatoes weren’t ripe so they needed to be boiled. We didn’t consider what that would do when smashed across skin. The milk though, it was taken directly from a refrigerator, and I would have had no idea that you could get brain freeze from the outside. Breakaway glass is slightly uncomfortable on the forehead as well. But all of this added perfectly to such a personal and heavy lyric. Just that little extra boost of discomfort to bring it out of me.” Curt also recalls the final scene “She (‘Cecilia’) hadn’t touched me like that in a while. I literally went into some strange trance, a Nirvana like state. It’s all so personal and captured visually, but I don’t know how not to be vulnerable in these creations anymore.”
Curt has been actively involved in the Los Angeles indie scene for some time and had spent a lot of time touring throughout Mexico with his former band, The Bixby Knolls in the Two-Thousand-teens. Currently still active with Strange Phases and Red Hearts White Ribbons, the results of the pandemic had forced him to reconcile with the facts of not being able to perform out live and gather with bandmates. Along with an ever changing and challenging music industry, this ultimately brought him to be faced with the decision to release music on his own creative accord as well as producing a steady flow of live webcasts (‘Still By The Socially Distant Firepit’ and the soon-to-be-released ‘The Pendulum & The Human Condition’ podcast) hosted by his own multi-media collective/ record label, Respectful Lust Records.