Cindy mourns the loss of her cat in the “Mary” video

Highclouds favorite Cindy debuts music video for “Mary,” a track off her incredible 2020 album I’m Cindy, out via World of Paint. And if you were not fast enough to grab your copy, the vinyl is getting a re-press.

Cindy is a character born from a collaboration between Dutch producer, animator, and songwriter extraordinaire Kai Hugo aka Palmbomen, and actress and singer Blue LoLãn. Her art blends vintage pop with dreamy, shoegaze experimentation, music with film, and reality with head-spinning, multimedia character-building. Since her birth on Hugo’s 2015 Palmbomen II, Cindy has, in her touching, surreal way, pushed our conceptions of artistry, reality, and the human condition. On 2017’s Memories of Cindy, we explored her hometown, Carmel Vista, and on last year’s I’m Cindy, her own “lost” album, we started to learn Cindy’s backstory.

On “Mary,” one of my favorite tracks off this record, Cindy is in mourning. She sings to a lost friend, her cat Mary, who “some time ago… one day died alone.” She tells the story with the straightforward clarity of a child – “My mother brought her out, she did not move, and they took her away. We had her buried then, right when it happened there, and she was gone.” It is a crisp, clipped tale, but grief is not as short as death – “Still I say things now like, Mary I think of you, where are you now.” This speaks to the peculiarity of mourning – our inability to quite get our heads around the absence of someone. The bizarre dreamlike sound of Cindy’s music is well suited to the sensation – the odd, twinkling lead melodies, the simple, hypnotic groove, the cat meows, Cindy’s slightly flat, repetitive vocals. The back half of the song seems to fall into a shadow, with blares of saxophone, and a wider, darker bass tone. It’s a dramatic moment – a goodbye perhaps, or Mary floating up to kitty heaven.

Cindy’s new video seems to portray this heaven. The camera floats unmoored through hazy pink clouds, as a series of 3D CGI objects float by – a bunch of plump purple grapes, a casket, a stiff, orange cat. These are rendered in the graphics of a 2005 MMO – awkward, almost lifelike. Cindy, played by LoLãn, floats along with the rest, in a hazy, black and white video. It looks like an old movie role, or a half gone memory. Cindy’s eyes are full of heart-wrenching sadness, and they peer out, across the weird CGI cityscape, at the camera. They capture what makes Cindy so enthralling – the piercingly human core at the heart of her strange art.

Lukas