Our recurring new music feature Origins provides artists with a platform to share personal insights into their latest release. Today, The Wrens’ Kevin Whelan breaks down “Fade,” the latest single from his solo project Aeon Station.
Back in late September, Kevin Whelan of The Wrens revealed he would be releasing a solo record under the moniker Aeon Station. Containing five songs he originally wrote for the band’s follow-up to 2003’s The Meadowlands, the album is titled Observatory and it arrives on December 10th via Sub Pop.
Today (November 16th), Consequence is exclusively premiering Aeon Station’s latest preview from the project, “Fade,” and its accompanying music video.
“A key inspiration for the song was when my family and I moved from New Jersey to Singapore,” Whelan tells Consequence. “It was something I always wanted to do. To move to a different country, to escape to a new place where no one knew me. People do it every day all over the world, but there is a unique feeling of excitement and fear when you’re leaving your home, country, and culture behind and setting off on a new life adventure.”
Fans will be surprised to find out Whelan powered through the vocals for the song while still experiencing the aftereffects from his second COVID shot. “At one point during the recording of the vocals, [producer] Tom [Beaujour] asked, ‘Are you ok, we’re doing a lot of recording. Are you hanging in there with singing all these lines?'” Whelan recalls. “We just laughed and kept recording. I’m thinking that second vaccine shot haze may have helped the vocals a little.”
Featuring a woman running from her demons, the music video for “Fade” is directed by Laurent Briet, who is known for working with The Stroke and Beyoncé. Whelan shares an interesting backstory with Consequence about the circumstances that led to his collaboration with Briet.
“Back in 1995, I played with this cool band called The Selzers. In that band was a great kid named Ryan Gentles,” Whelan remembers. “A few years later Ryan became the manager for The Strokes. Fast forward to 2021, Ryan is still that same cool person when I literally called him out of the blue after 20 years, and I asked him for advice on video directors.”
Whelan continues, “Laurent immediately took over, set the vision, and made the video in Spain. Through his brilliant mastery of the medium and hard work, he made an inspired mini movie within this video. Combining CGI, incredible footage, and a story that keeps you thinking from beginning to start, Laurent added a new context and depth to the song that makes it more majestic and powerful.”
Watch the video for “Fade” below, and read on for Kevin Whelan of Aeon Station’s Origins.
Pre-orders for Observatory are currently ongoing over at Sub Pop’s website and independent retailers.