“Into the Wilderness” was directed by Aslin + Cibella, produced by Silent Thunder Films and shot by cinematographer Alex Simon. Costumes were designed and created by Phoebe Silva.
I started writing this song several years ago on a trip to Idyllwild with my family. Memories, images and feelings came flooding back to me as I was driving through the winding mountain roads. I spent two summers working in Alaska outside Denali National Park, and those experiences changed my life and led me to making my own music. The song is a meditation on the illusory nature of time, how our experiences shape our understanding of ourselves.
I wanted the video to be similarly metaphorical and the imagery to embody the lushness of the recording. Gilbert Louie Ray produced the track with me and with strings, banjo, and lots of alternative percussion, we created this very fantastical arrangement. Lots of people have compared it to Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. So I knew I wanted a fantasy element. It’s hard to not feel that inspiration in the woods.
We shot in Angeles National Forest for one day, with some pickup shots done in Los Angeles at Griffith Park, right off the Ferndell hiking trail. Tim Aslin and I conceptualized the narrative together. I knew I wanted to tell a linear story but I also wanted it to feel abstract and to really reflect and inner world. The concept is this: I’m running through the woods, beginning this journey of self exploration, tentatively, in a state of wonderment. As I start to delve deeper into my own psyche, I become paranoid, nervous, not sure if someone or something is following me. I begin to run, unsure of if I’m running towards or away from something… and what? When I reach an ominous looking cave I’ve seen in my dreams, I’m confronted by my “shadow self”, the embodiment of my own darkness. By facing my own shadow elements, I’m able to see my full potential for power: that’s the fantasy dream sequence where I am transformed into this fire goddess. I wake up from the dream, stripped down in the woods, knowing myself better than ever before… able to emerge from uncertainty with a more complete sense of self. I’m self-possessed, confident, one with nature. The trees adorn me. I’m ready to face the world with a new understanding.
There’s a lot of spiritual weight to these ideas, and the creative journey of the video reflects the personal journey of self-discovery I’ve been on for a few years, but especially the last 6 months in isolation. I’ve had many conversations with friends and loved ones about similar journeys they’ve found themselves on, with so much time in quarantine to reflect. We’re going through a collective consciousness transformation in the world right now and I wanted to reflect that in the video. It’s a mining of the collective subconscious in creative form.