StarAV dives into the creative ideas that were etched on his brain while producing his EP The End, and how they visually bloomed.
StarAV recently dropped his ambient yet ethereal EP, The End which explores broader themes around loss and grief. StarAV dives into the thought process behind the EP’s animated visuals on Spotify. When he began producing the tracks for The End, a dark blue cloudy sky came into his vision. It was distant, yet foreboding.
Slowly, this transformed into a world where he created a dark starless sky, with clouds lit blue by auroras and red glowing water lit by an underwater sun. Sonically, the soundscape of the track exudes the transition as five stars dissipate one by one, falling closer to the underwater sun. This visual was inspired directly by anime, specifically the end of Evangelion and the end of Devilman Crybaby, in these cases the world has ceased to exist and transforms itself into something else entirely.
The EP is a covers project, with songs that were carefully collected and covered in themes revolving around the discomforts of growth, loss, grief, death and isolation. This project ties into StarAV’s idea of self-regulating through music, and is a tribute to using music as a tool to navigate through universal experiences and emotions.
The project is wrapped up in elements of indie and ambient pop, and heavily coated in reverbed piano and vocals as well as synth and noise elements to produce strong textures to his own world.
StarAV’s thought process for the visual direction
When I first produced my version of Frank’s Track, I knew it had a feeling of finality to it, similar to post-film credits. It also had a looming sense of quiet ominousness. I felt the colour of blue and instantly made a connection to the visual aesthetics of End of Evangelion and Devilman Crybaby. These series featured world-ending events at the end of their narratives. Both of which also visually had a red component to them. With this, I wanted to flesh this idea out in the form of an EP.
I had to make this EP progress in a way that it gets warmer with each track, to fit that gradient from the zoonic deep blue sky to the red boiling hot water (more blood red in the original inspirations). In the world of The End, the water glows red due to a sun that is deep under the water, this is a way I felt would make the conclusion feel visually striking. With this in mind, I decided to have the visuals start with five stars, and as they all fall ever closer to the sun, they would dissolve one by one, each track representing each star. While the environment is heavily inspired by the aforementioned anime series, I find that in general it is simply a more contemporary way to represent a sense of spacey-ness and is overall stripped back and ambient like the music itself.
1. Frank’s Track is considered to be the most mysterious and coldest-sounding track. It starts off high up in the sky, with blue aurora lights shining on the stars.
2. Lava Lamp is more turbulent to match its open vulnerability, yet still retains the spacey-ness of Frank’s Track, this presents the stars passing through heavier clouds and rain.
3. Landslide is the slow burner of the slow burners, more ruminative and calmer while building as it builds up to its emotional climax. The calm section is the stars just above the water, the sky is clear, and the water seems still. The second half represents the stars submerging under the water “God is in the water”.
4. Agony is calm and melancholic, not quite at the sun but simply sinking until we get there, it’s calm.
5. Motion Picture: This track is instrumentally synth-led. It’s warm. The vocals are saturated and chorused to represent this, especially in the final added lines, “It’s all for you, It’s all for you,” the final star reaches the sun and dissolves. With the end of this one world, was something new realised?
Check out the rest of the EP via Spotify below, and get lost in the ambient soundscape.