Van Goose is building up a head of steam. With a debut album, Habitual Eater, on the encroaching horizon, the productivity coming from Shlomi Lavie displays an old-fashioned work ethic that’s hard to ignore. On the heels of previous releases, ‘Last Bus’ and ‘She’s No Pressure’ Lavie now springs a new track called ‘Wildstar’. And yeah, there’s a video.
The tone of ‘Wildstar’ sounds like it picked up an accent whilst whispering in the library with Dean Wareham. Van Goose, has been gaining a reputation as a dance-punk project – raising eyebrows, spilling drinks, and using the dance floor as a platform for something entirely more artful than simply getting sweaty. I mean, let’s be clear, there’s plenty of sweat, strut and showing off from Van Goose – but there are other elements which preserve sanity and depth, in an otherwise mad world, typically untroubled with depth.
‘Wildstar’ now shifts trajectory of expectation. This is after-after party action. Club-adjacent, bottom-of-the-glass beauty. We’re doing nothing short of reflecting on the longing of the heart. “Wildstar, wildstar, I’m running through the emptiness with tears in my eyes” sings Lavie. But wait – then his tears are described as warm and lush. And this whole thing captures the joy-pain of existence.
As in previous releases, there’s a pleasing surrealism at the core of process. Van Goose doesn’t aim for oddness. There’s no sense of contrived self-obscurity, but this fabric of the project is simply above the norm. Lyrics cascade through thoughts. ‘Wildstar’ is a totem for longing, for the point at which the heavens rotate, and for the compulsion that pushes, or pulls the narrator.
Pulling people into the Van Goose Vision, Lavie adds to momentum and reach with a varied set of aesthetic concerns. Accompanying video, directed by Natalie Greene, is an animated fairy. Childlike, but never childish, the ‘wide eyes’ of the track are employed in the world view that’s explored here. Dancing people, swimming creatures, subtle, psychedelics – all swirl around the central Wildstar. Greene, like Lavie may occupy a niche in the unforced and unusual. Her work is stellar. This beautiful stuff should be projected over ugly shit to make the world a little bit more beautiful.
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PHOTOGRAPH BY EHUD LAZIN