The Artist Explains - Maria Kelly - 'Dark Places'

Alt folk singer songwriter Maria Kelly speaks to us about addressing and taking care of your mental health, fairy liquid bubble baths, and all things behind the scenes in the making of the poignant, 'Dark Places' single and visuals. 

Where was the video for 'Dark Places' filmed?

The video was filmed in several parts of Berlin over the course of two days in March - Neukölln, Tempelhof Airport & a beautiful apartment on lend from some friends of ours. 

I've spent a lot of time in Berlin over the last year or so as it's where my label is currently based. I met the guys from Roughcast earlier this year and I loved their work - they’re based in Berlin too and it made a lot of sense to me to collaborate on this one! 

How does the video connect with the song?
‘Dark Places’ is a very literate depiction of depression, and some of the thinking patterns that present themselves during that time. I wanted to create a video that did the same thing, in a very honest, simple way. 
It starts off quite innocently with a group of friends on the U-bahn, with everyone having a good time. But once I make my way home and am suddenly alone, my thoughts present themselves quite literally in front of me. There are moments of escape for sure, in Tempelhof for example, but the interesting thing is that you can never really tell which character is which, suggesting that depression is something that can be always present, but not always visible. 

Any behind the scenes stories?
I met the Roughcast guys quite briefly before filming with day two, I was in a bath, covered in Fairy Liquid (we ran out of bubble bath..) pretending to stare at myself across the tub. We were all so caught up in just getting the right shot, but we did have a zoom-out moment of ..’we properly met two days ago and here we are’ haha! I am forever grateful to the guys for going along with my weird idea! 

Could you tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
I storyboarded the idea out earlier this year. I had this storyline in my head for a while - it was originally supposed to be the video for ‘Hollow’ actually, but it didn’t work out in the end! I’m glad though, as I think it fits in with ‘Dark Places’ much more effectively. 

Everything was based around the double shots - we tried to come up with interesting places in Berlin to shoot them and just went from there. 

There wasn’t really a theme as such - the coat and scarf combo is the coat & scarf I wear everyday, and I kind of based the outfits around the blues in those. But other than that, it was just a really natural filming process. 

Is there a message the video is trying to convey?
I wanted to present depression very literally, so that it can’t be ignored in this instance. And to show that it can effect even the simplest of scenarios. 

But most importantly, the video aims to convey that it’s important to not shy away from those parts of yourself. Everybody has mental health, and it needs attention, when it is in a good place, or a bad one. Ignoring it won’t work.

Interview Feature by Karla Harris