By Jordan Yeager
I M U R are a three-piece exploration into the ways in which electronic and live music can mingle, and their new video for “Breathless” is the perfect experiment.
Based in East Vancouver, I M U R have been on the rise since they formed in 2015. The release of their debut EP, Little Death, earlier this year, only further solidified their reputation as a group to look out for. Their lyrics examine intimate topics like substance abuse, recovery, self-awareness, and sexuality without committing to any one genre. Synths complement guitar licks; violins highlight vocals; piano chords blend with beats.
“The title Little Death alludes to the French saying ‘la petite mort,’ which refers to a spiritual release that comes with orgasm,” says singer and keyboardist Jenny Lea. “The album is rooted in real experience exploring human connection and its fluidity, love and loss, and recovery. Love, sensuality, and maybe even slight obsession are the culprits of inspiration for this track [‘Breathless’].”
Much of today’s R&B-influenced music is mellow and melancholic, but I M U R tend to steer away from that, preferring bouncy beats to moody introspection. They set themselves apart by creating a hybrid of soul, electronic, dance and R&B, blending live and digital sounds. A live performance video fits the bill for a group that defines themselves as a “live/electronic” act, bringing the worlds of digital production and instrumentation together. The video plays with lighting and editing so that its energy transports you to to front- and center-stage at an I M U R show.
“A scripted video allows for more creative expression,” says Lea. “It allows us to step into the metaphoric realm and really elicit a visceral response. It’s primarily about bringing our audience and our idea together, about the underlying themes and concepts within the corresponding piece of music. A live video is a piece of showmanship, an opportunity to say, ‘this is what you get when you come out to watch I M U R, this and more.’ We definitely get to explore creatively with the live video as well, but it’s about the performance of the piece in a very concrete, as opposed to abstract, way.”
“I don’t think film can capture our live show the way you can in person,” she adds. “When we perform live, it’s not about us. It’s about every single person in that room. We do this for connection, and we believe you can feel that when you come to see us.”