PREMIERES “LIGHTS OUT” VIDEO VIA THE FADER
DEBUT ALBUM SKOMMEL OUT 24 MARCH 2017 ON FRIENDSHIP FEVER
MAR. 16 AUSTIN, TX – WYNDHAM GARDEN HOTEL (SXSW Second Stage, 6pm set)
MAR. 16 AUSTIN, TX – MAGGIE MAE’S (Friendship Fever showcase, 10pm set)
“…anthemic, skewed pop songs…” – The FADER
Imaginary Tricks (a.k.a New York singer and multi-instrumentalist Mike Visser) premiered their new video for “Lights Out” via The FADER. Directed by Marc Thomas Kallweit, the video sees Visser taking on two roles: a shiny suited star in a neon-lit studio and a person living on the streets. As The FADER explains: “The video challenges who we ascribe value to, but there’s another uncomfortable truth at its heart: Visser is just acting, but for a lot of people, myself included, watching him may be the longest time we spend today acknowledging the plight of the unhoused.”
“If have money, you have power; and if you don’t, you’re fucked,” Visser told The FADER over email. “We shot this video over a couple days in Sacramento, CA. It was a harrowing experience to portray a homeless person, as real homeless men and women walked by our set in disbelief. I wish we didn’t have this problem in this country.”
Imaginary Tricks will release their debut album Skommel on March 24, 2017 via Friendship Fever, a new Sacramento-based label. The band will be playing some shows at SXSW this week. Mike Visser will be joined by Harlan Muir, David Beale, and Sam Wadsworth on live performances.
Mike Visser (formerly of Sacramento band Frank Jordan) builds upon a lifelong affair with guitar noise and a love for buttery R&B classics. The songs on Skommel are reflections of psych-tinged rock and pop obsessions, abused by years of a relentless search for something stranger, stronger, and free. Imaginary Tricks takes an experimental approach to delivering a familiar thump; it’s a heartbeat, with multiple layers of complex sounds, mired in soul and hidden lyrical depth. The songs on Skommel are poignant and varied, from the surefire pop hit of “Night Owl,” which captures the universal feeling of staying up at night and worrying yourself to bits, to the rugged and rhythmic “Lights Out,” which addresses the distribution of wealth in the Western world, to the disarming “No Ordinary Guy,” where Visser details his father’s immigration from South Africa to the United States. The album plays almost like an intimate conversation between new friends, which slowly unfolds and blossoms over shared thoughts about anxieties, letting go of fear, and gaining new perspectives.
Much of Skommel was drafted in Visser’s Queens apartment and Bushwick rehearsal space, and recorded at Japam Studio in Brooklyn, NY, with Visser employing whistles and wah-wahs, Doppler-effect vocals, and alien Wurlitzer keyboarding to create the album’s eclectic, melodic, and hypnotic effect.