Blato Zlato debuts "Vodata Teche." Photo by Noe Cugny

Blato Zlato’s new video is a haunting look at climate change in New Orleans

New Orleans-based Balkan band Blato Zlato and film crew All of Them Witches are today (December 19) debuting the music video for the single “Vodata Teche.”

The title translates to “The Water Flows” and calls forth a conversation on the reality of climate change. The song comes from their recent album In the Wake, and the video features a surrealist approach to our relationship with nature. 

The video’s imagery speaks with a dark undertone that empowers the band’s warning for the future. Both the music and the lyrics foreshadow the ever-present danger of water in our lives and the future of New Orleans’ return to the nature that surrounds it. Lou Carrig, the band’s accordionist and vocalist, told OffBeat in October that, “Many of our original songs center around our experiences here in New Orleans: we live below sea level with water all around us, and it’s not hard to find the poetry in the intense intermittent storms and sunshine one finds here.” 

While drawing upon New Orleans’ fateful relationship with nature, the album finds itself musically rooted in the Bulgarian tradition. Carrig said, “When composing this song, we drew heavily from traditional musical elements of Bulgarian folklore, such as a 7/8 rhythm, three-part polyphonic vocals, modal melodies, and Bulgarian lyrics that explore themes of our interaction with nature.” 

The result is a haunting concept album that speaks not only to our relationship with nature, but also to our relationship with each other. Carrig noted, “We find ourselves frequently writing about immigration, and home: we write about how our hearts often feel split between New Orleans and Bulgaria, America and Europe.” This idea of belonging interweaves the city’s relationship with nature into the band’s own relationship with home. 

Director Sasha Solodukhina notes that, “The use of analog special effects during the transformation sequence, combined with the simultaneous elegance and brutality of Cypress’s movement, lends an uncanny quality to the final piece. Even as she tries to control the forces overtaking her, she ultimately must concede to the inevitability and power of nature.” The omnipresence of water and the looming fate of New Orleans in the wake of climate change calls back to the notion of belonging and the return of humanity back into nature.

In the end, the collaboration between Blato Zlato’s dreamy three-part vocal harmonies and All of Them Witches’s mystical productions results in a dark and magical depiction of a twisted fate we share with nature. For more Bulgarian swamp gold from Blato Zlato, click here.