Dylan Gilbert is out on his own, and the loneliness appears to be taking its toll.
Gilbert, front man of Charlotte indie rock trio Hectorina, has been releasing new solo music in this chaotic year of 2020, and we’re happy to premiere the new video for his second single “Boneyard,” which finds him wandering around in an empty park, sharply dressed but troubled to say the least.
In the video, directed by Reuben Bloom, Gilbert takes on the mannerisms of a man on a mushroom trip that’s gone bad — or is at least heading that way. The song has a panicky industrial sound that builds on what he started with his second single, “Moving Forward,” though the lyrics follow similar themes to his first single “Good News,” as both involve confronting the fear and loathing of a modern-day news cycle.
The lead line of “Boneyard,” in which Gilbert yells “The flag’s always at half-mast now, I don’t know why,” had been bouncing around in his head for some time, and that eventually led to the rest of the song, he told Queen City Nerve.
“I kept noticing American flags at half-mast as school shootings and violent acts became more frequent the past couple of years,” Gilbert said. “Seeing more and more flags at half-mast started making me feel disoriented and fearful, like I can’t even keep track of all of the tragedy going on in our country.”
Though recorded before the COVID-19 outbreak was even a dot on the radar, the isolated feelings depicted in the video are relatable now to the countless among us dealing with pent-up anxiety in a quarantine.
“Now, of course, we’re all feeling like this on a global scale and everyone, locked away in their homes, is becoming more and more scared, frustrated and angry,” he continued. “This is an angry song, but it’s an ‘anti-anger’ song as well. It’s about not knowing what to do and feeling helpless but realizing that being more negative isn’t going to improve the situation we’re in.”
Hectorina released its latest album, Knotted Everest, in early 2019, and the band is currently “working on a few things,” Gilbert said. His three solo singles will all be part of an upcoming album called I’ll Be the Lakebed that Gilbert recorded alone, with postproduction and mastering from Justin Aswell.
“It’s funny, this album and these songs are all so insular and paranoid, but about finding positivity in those bleak private moments,” Gilbert said. “I was worried that people wouldn’t be able to relate to that and now everyone is feeling a lot of the same feelings I felt when I wrote these songs.”