Natalie Bergman Presents Hopeful Video “Paint The Rain”
Natalie Bergman’s “Paint The Rain” Is The Sweetest Moment On Her Debut Album Pity, out now. While lyrically this is a pretty sad song about breaking up a relationship, sonically it is filled with beams of bright sunshine, thanks to its regular, dreamy ’70s gospel sound.
The record is Bergman’s first as a solo artist, but she has already released three more as part of her better-known project, Wild Belle, formed with her brother, Elliot. In 2019, they lost their father in a car accident, a tragedy that sparked the creation of Pity for Bergman. This beautiful set of songs is inspired by his totally mesmerizing vision of the gospel, a hazy, delirious and radiant vision in the soul. On “Paint The Rain” it is used to bring a song about Collapse into a Realm of Hope, where she sings “You paint the rain!” on his outro feels almost redemptive.
NYLON releases the video for “Paint The Rain,” which was shot in the deserts of Los Angeles on Friday. This reflects Bergman’s own retreat to a desert monastery in New Mexico when she began creating the album and dealing with her own grief. In the black and white stop-motion style video, she plays with blocks, ladders, kites and other miscellaneous objects in the sandy mountains; it is both a peaceful and surreal experience.
Watch it below and read on to learn more about Bergman, kites, and the hopeful powers of gospel music.
What are you doing right now – describe your surroundings.
I have several piles of hands, teeth, eyes, shapes and patterns cut out on my living room floor. I just made a stop motion film for my friends at Arts of Life, a non-profit organization that offers artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities a collective space to expand their practice. I recently commissioned a piece from one of their artists Jean Wilson. It’s called “Stereo Rock”. This is an incredibly cool painting of a stereo. She is an amazing painter and she paints often on cardboard, which is one of my favorite surfaces to work on.
Tell me a little bit about “Paint The Rain” – how does this song fit into the big story arc of Pity for you?
After writing most of PityI left Los Angeles for six months and returned to the woods where I grew up. I was doing a lot of art. Sculptures and blue paintings box. I was driving to get some paint one morning and hit an Indigo Bunting with my pickup truck. A little blue songbird. It was very disturbing and sad and I stopped to cry for a few moments. I turned around and went home, and that same morning I wrote “Paint The Rain”. While the lyrics have nothing to do with that poor little songbird, they relate to the death of a relationship, and I certainly felt very blue during that time.
How was the experience of filming this video in the desert – to come back to the same environment as when you were at the monastery?
The Los Angeles desert in the spring is completely different from the New Mexico desert in the middle of winter. The video shoot was guerrilla warfare, which is typical of most of my films, but the elements in the desert are so much bigger than us… the sun and the wind are mighty and will eat you alive! My box sculptures became tumbleweeds and the kites had their own spirit. It was still an experience, and I have a pretty solid crew of my own tumbleweeds that will follow me on any adventure.
You sing about building and flying a kite in “Paint The Rain”.
I have built a few kites last year and only one has flown successfully. It makes a cameo appearance in this video. There was a kite festival in the 1950s that was hosted by students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and I dreamed of hosting my own kite festival in the summer.
You talked about the hopeful power of gospel music, and that Pity is your take on the gospel.
I love the tradition of gospel music in churches because it brings people together to sing. It’s community music. I hope to bring people together with my own songs and spread some gospel news. We did a hymn for my record and my church in Chicago will be singing “I Will Praise You” this Sunday. Excited to hear it.
Besides this record, what brings you hope, comfort and healing these days?
I’m going to the mountains this weekend. I happen to be accompanied by the subject of this song. Love always finds its way back to you.