Battle Circus successfully puts energy back into some ancient black-and-white footage with the video for “Flying Machine,” the first song to be released off of its upcoming self-titled full-length debut. This exclusive video doubles as the premiere for the song. Guitarist and vocalist Marcel Bellve took the time to dig up a hefty amount of public domain footage of our earliest successes and failures in flying, and then spliced them together to go along with the nine-minute epic song. The track and the glitch-y, fatigued footage fit together surprisingly well, especially during the flying montage where pianist Yvonne Wu takes over with a swirling piano solo. Almost makes you proud to be an American.
Battle Circus comes from New Zealand and may be hard to categorize. The music is pop-like, but the arrangements are complex and progressive. The melodies and instrumentation are sort of campy but stay away form ever becoming corny or insincere. Though it is only a four piece, the group manages to create enormous cinematic pop, filled with myriad orchestral and rock instruments.
The group has spent quite a lot of time working up to this debut. A good portion of the album was recorded in the group’s native New Zealand, posting up in a barn overlooking the coastline. Aside from that, Battle Circus hasn’t been spending a lot of time in its home country. The past several years have been marked worldwide tours, taking the band from Taiwan to SXSW and building strong followings wherever it stopped to play. The group’s debut EP, The Half-Light Symphony, came out in 2007. Each of the four songs landed around 10 minutes in length.
Plans for an album release are now in the works. For now, American record label representation still needs to be nailed down. A national tour should be coming soon, and in the meantime, catch the band opening for Viza at the Highline Ballroom on May 14.