TVD Video Premiere: FUNKILLER “Tropical Depression”

Way down in Florida, Gainesville-based singer-songwriter David Gordon spent 13 years quietly writing his second FUNKILLER album, Tropical Depression—a masterfully composed record that effortlessly swerves between dreamy-pop melodies and ethereal soundscapes. While it was finally released digitally last week via LaunchLeft, a pre-order for the vinyl is now live as well. This pressing will be on 180-gram black vinyl in a gatefold jacket.

The Vinyl District is proud to premiere the video for the title track, “Tropical Depression.” It’s a truly tranquil journey that’s accentuated by wistful dynamics and captivating poetry. The video was shot by Stephen Mckendree at various spots across Gainesville, Micanopy and St. Augustine. Locations all near and dear to Gordon.

“[The video for] ‘Tropical Depression’ is a slice of psychological life in Florida,” he said. “Woozy black-and-white layers of past and present imagery mirror the mystical cyclical nature of its creative forces.” Being a film photographer, and avid film lover, Gordon found a way to not only give a nod to one of his favorite films (note the poster for John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus), but also weave in old tape reels into the production.

“There’s found footage that was shot in Miami,” he added. “All of the footage of the aerial views, and old 16mm film, that was old found footage that my friend bought at an estate sale. I basically juxtaposed the two things. That was the rub: How do I marry these two things? I wanted to bridge the gap between the past and present.”

This is the fourth single from the new FUNKILLER LP, which was recorded at Montrose Recording in Richmond, Virginia back in 2018. Over the last few months, LaunchLeft has also dropped videos for “Divided Highway,” “Rattlesnake Freight Train,” and “Self-Fulfilling Prophecies.”

With no shortage of catchy songs on the tracklist, Gordon said “Tropical Depression” was destined to be the title track. The two words, when put together, created the perfect double entendre. “I felt all the songs fell naturally under that umbrella,” Gordon said. “It speaks to living in Florida and being lost in the writing process, and I also kind of struggle with some of my mental stability,” Gordon explained. “The combination of all those things made the overarching title prevalent to me and also the most poignant thing I could title this piece of work—this period piece. It’s kind of my (Hemingway) Islands in the Stream moment.”

As for the record as a whole, perhaps Moon Unit Zappa said it best when she cryptically wrote: “With head in the clouds and feet firmly rooted in quicksand, Funkiller’s album Tropical Depression is an existential freefall into the raw id of musical and human liminality.”

Tropical Depression is out now on all streaming services, vinyl pre-order is here.

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