Kuinka Asks, 'Where Is This Anger Coming From?'

Jul 26, 2017

One of the bands that caught our attention in this years Tiny Desk Contest was Kuinka (coo-WINK-uh). This Seattle band of brothers - Zach and Nathan Hamer, along with Miranda Zickler and Jillian Walker - entered the contest with a music video filled with objects on a large office desk, including a typewriter, table percussion, a clarinet, ukulele, and a cello, which they used to make some joyful noise. Now the group is back with "Warsaw," a great new song and video that tackles the ponderous subject of outrage and asks, "Where is this anger coming from?"

Nathan Hamer, who co-directed the video with his brother, Zach, told me via email that the song is about "the misplacement of emotion." It follows a character pent up with contempt. "We wanted to analyze the evolution of how hate speech materializes into actions. Social and economic issues are often more nuanced than we wish to believe, and there are people in the world who find it easier to blame marginalized and minority communities. Misguided/shortsighted solutions can be easy to rally behind, but they never address the scope of an issue. For this music video, we wanted to follow a character who is forced to look inward and face the depths of where their anger and hate is coming from."

Nathan let me know that "Warsaw was an especially fun music video to create because it allowed my brother and I to tap into our [Stanley] Kubrick tendencies when filming. (A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey were both huge influences on us as filmmakers). We shot mainly with wide-angled lenses, implemented visual and acting improvisations and had fun messing around with footage colorization. Creating special effects was relatively uncharted territory for both of us, so we decided to throw it back to some of our favorite '80s [Steven] Spielberg films and used video layering effects, claymation and 2-D animations. Some of the levitation shots have about 10-15 different videos stacked on top of one another all playing simultaneously, sort of like a moving collage."

The song "Warsaw" is from the group's spring EP release called Stay Up Late. It features a sound layered with a new addition to the band: a microKORG XL+ synthesizer which added a nice texture to the band's joyous organic sound.

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