Just about the only other time you might have heard the piercing vocals of Alexander Ryberg and Tom Liljegren was on David Guetta’s techno-pop track “Just One Last Time,” when the pair sang under the name Taped Rai. That also happens to be the name of their debut EP, as they’re now calling themselves Max Elto. But after listening to original tracks like “Shadow Of The Sun” and “Daniel,” it’s obvious the band has found their own sound.
To put it simply: the pitch of Ryberg’s soul-piercing notes atop Liljegren’s icy minimalist downbeats is emotive and thought-provoking. And in their newest video for their single “Citylights,” Max Elto shows us (once again) how to reel in a set of ear drums at the pace of a slow-burning candle. “The song is about longing for belonging, yearning for what you don’t know. It’s the fourth and final installment of the Taped Rai EP. With the video, we want to portray the accomplishment of trying. We’re very proud of it,” said Tom Liljegren.
And they should be. The video, shot almost entirely out of focus, begins with a 64-second voiceless build-up of falling rain that’s slowly silenced by the intro of Ryberg’s vocals that, with every verse, remain at an octave so high throughout the entirety of the song that make you wonder if this is what Heaven sounds like. Ryberg’s chiseled head-on-a-stick (you read that right) enters the frame in a sort of exhausted, beaten-down state that mirrors the track’s already mysterious air. And as the song reaches its climax, the head comes back into focus to appear more weathered than before, covered in raindrops mixed with a set of crooked teeth drenched in blood.
If any of this sounds just as cool to you as it does to us, follow along with Max Elto’s interactive music video premiere “Citylights,” produced by their creative director (whom they share with Jay Z and Beyoncé), Nate Brown. And don’t forget to buy their EP, Taped Rai, on iTunes if you want to hear more.