Strange Relations – Panther’s Conquest (Music Video Premiere)

by Steven Spoerl

strange rlations
Photograph by Kate Essick

Back in March, Strange Relations quietly released the excellent -CENTRISM, a collection of songs teeming with a variety of great influences (indie pop, post-punk, new wave, no wave, hardcore, etc.). It’s an album that deserved greater circulation than it initially received- but, like all great bands that have the tenacity to reach wider platforms- they’re staunchly refusing to be dissuaded by something as trivial as small reception. I’m honored to be hosting the premiere of the music video for the shortest, sharpest, and fiercest song on -CENTRISM, “Panther’s Conquest”.

On -CENTRISM the song feels even more vicious than it does as a standalone piece, thanks to the sequencing choice to have it follow the record’s most gentle moment. Freed of sequential boundaries, the Lewis Wilcox-directed clip is allowed both a freedom and a fierceness that feels intrinsically tied to the spirit of the song. Utilizing striking visuals, great framing, brilliant editing, and a strong turn from Isabel Hendrix in the video’s central role, it plays on an unnerving sense of pulp to great effect.

Intercutting performance footage, cleverly placed snippets of lyrics, an empty, foreboding chair in a parking garage, a photoshoot, and more, “Panther’s Conquest” ultimately comes off as an exploration of personal identity, rendering it an accurate presentation of one of -CENTRISM‘s largest overarching narrative themes. As everything rapidly builds to what feels like may be a horrifying climax, the clip subverts expectations and ends with a different kind of powerful statement. It’s an elegant and graceful punctuation mark that makes the sentiments preceding it even more intriguing. Provocative, thoughtful, and full of beautiful neo-noir touches, it’s not a video to be missed.

Watch “Panter’s Conquest” below and order -CENTRISM here.