Scarlett Rose Shares Brian Eno Cover and the Inspiration Behind its Gooey Green Screen Video
Scarlett Rose is an elusive, enigmatic, yet friendly spirit floating throughout Toronto’s music communities. After spending the past few years DJing, throwing parties at DIY art spaces, and performing with projects such as Cindy Lee or drone duo Schönsee, she is now introducing listeners to music released under her own name. Paying tribute to ambient/art-rock godhead Brian Eno for the 45th anniversary of his 1974 album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), she throws her own spin on “Put A Straw Under Baby.” The gooey green screen effects of its video were created at local public access TV station BUMP, while her father Grier Coppins of Celtic folk-rock band Rare Air added some bagpipes to the eerie family affair. Watch the video premiering on Phluff below and read on for an interview.
Phluff: Why did you decide to cover this particular song?
Scarlett: Throughout this song I get a sense that everyone is sitting on a secret trying to play their cards right. It sums up a lot of themes that come up for me within the album - strange old wives' tales to dystopian visions for the future, nature written to repeat and self-destruct infinitely. Plus I love the greasy subtext with people trying to make it and break it in other songs like “The True Wheel.” He is such a great storyteller. I find ageless truths all over his songs but he can make anything wild and bright.
Phluff: To me, it’s always sounded like a sinister lullaby, which your cover heightens even more. What kinds of things did you aim to do to bring your own style to the video and cover?
Scarlett: People say my voice is childlike, so with that in mind I thought it would be interesting to point the fantasy in the eyes of a young person inside a church navigating everything that comes with organized rules and religion, whether that’s faith, fear, guilt, or temptation. And as conceptual as Eno is, he is also extraordinarily curious and playful like me. I love clowns. And I love covers because they let you see yourself in some one else’s reflection.
Phluff: Can you tell me a bit about the BUMP studio and how you created the video’s special effects with gooey props and the green screen?
Scarlett: BUMP TV is run by Tom Hobson and Halloway Jones of Baby Cages, plus an organized board of volunteer superstars. They have a 24-hour online channel where you can stream all kinds of creations made within their studio. It’s pretty amazing that it exists. It doesn't even really make sense.
I came to both of them with my idea and some sticky props, and for some reason they decided to help me make a video. Halloway even helped me mix and pour the cummy, bloody brew on my shoes while Tom filmed. Andrew Matthews from WHIMM also happens to be a film master who helped me make these janky opening titles.
Phluff: Who is Grier Coppins and why did you decide to ask him to play bagpipes?
Scarlett: That’s my dad! The country farm boy, a highland piper. The number one reason I ask him to play with me is that he is simply the best you could ever ask for. Another being that to me this song is a dysfunctional family tale. And the last is that I think the organ and bagpipes have an unspoken synchronicity. I wanted to keep the ancient air alive.
Phluff: This is the first solo song I’ve heard you release under your own name. What else do you have planned for the future?
Scarlett: The future holds many more strange, shady concepts, unsettling videos, and pipes unloaded, granted.