Meanjin/Brisbane's Cameron Lee unleashes some powerfully poignant visuals for his solo project, romance, and his new single 'resonance'.
In August 2020, romance gifted us his debut EP. The moniker for the solo project of one of Meanjin/Brisbane's most respected and successful players in the electronic community, Cameron Lee (also an anagram of his name), romance created the space Lee needed to completely express himself on his own terms. In the form of this debut EP, reckless serenity, it remained in the same vein of emotive, explorational and evocative dance music Lee has found his roots in in his various roles over his career, but provided a certain sonic freedom in which he could find cathartic connection.
Lee's introduction to music was care of a classical training, and his love of dance music stemmed from a scholarship trip to the US when he was 22. He brought back this love and discovered his hometown's own small but thriving scene, and quickly dove in head first. He moved quickly from throwing his own warehouse parties in the very place he would later come to own and reinvigorate as the much loved Warehouse 25 (launched in late 2020), Lee has also shared stages with The Jungle Giants and Confidence Man as a DJ in his own right and gifted us incredible music in the duo with Shannon Mavrik, Penelope Two-Five. He's also gone onto team up with fellow Meanjin/Brisbane creative Nadeem Tiafau to form the collective Pray-Tell, which throws spectacular parties and is a newly minted label. Not bloody bad for someone who's just turned 28!
Now, in 2021, Lee isn't letting time get away from him. While he oversees operations at Warehouse 25, he has also thrown one of his city's first larger-scale events with a Pray-Tell party earlier in the year, which saw the likes of X CLUB and Claire Morgan play. And now, he's setting his sights back to his romance project with a brand new single. Titled 'resonance', it's another absolutely stellar release from the man himself.
This release sets itself apart from his previous romance releases due to its accompanying visuals, a project-first. Cinematographer and friend Xavier Rousset has beautifully shot the visuals, amplifying the potent emotional content embedded in the song. Focussing on the notion of our relationship with grief and turmoil, and how we must make peace with it before we can move on from it (if at all), the clip captures this with dancer Amy Zhang personifying this very burden.
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Following Lee through the streets and staying with him at a party, a rave and on his own, Zhang's portrayal of this is one of a powerfully menacing force. It is only until the eruption, shown in the clip as primal, visceral dancing by Zhang, that Lee finally faces her head on and he can begin to make distance between them, thus providing space for the healing he was seeking all along.
It's no tiny concept, but one pulled off expertly by all involved. And, in keeping with the community ethos which is intrinsic to all Lee does, he has leaned on his community to provide crowd moments in a rave scene filmed in his own venue, as well as special guests cast throughout.
As for the song, it's yet another winner with intelligent but still emotive beats pairing sublimely with romance's vocals. Whirring, industrial sounds collide with frenetic percussive lines and subtle samples of panting to add to the stress. It's tense, and an exercise in restraint as romance's production builds and builds until just the final moments of reprieve, while the vocals (both original and edited to signify the inner turmoil) coax you into the journey alongside our main character. With a hypnotic hook you'll be humming along to long after 'resonance' has ended, it is a song begging for thriving dancefloors just as much as it custom made for heady moments of solitude.
Words by Emma Jones