Lou Canon Channels Twin Peaks' Laura Palmer in "Coma" Video

The velvety singer challenges the notion that to be feminine is to be silent and pretty.
February 9, 2017, 2:55pm

Image via YouTube Passiveness has long been ingrained in women. We have been raised that, even now, confronted with strong emotion—be it in our relationships, at our jobs, or on the street—our bodies often betray our minds. We want to act on our intuition, take what we know is ours, yet again and again, there is an entrapment against a thin, invisible layer of imposter syndrome, a feminine notion of "politeness," or fear of repercussion, a barrier to realizing our potential.

Advertisement

Indie singer-songwriter Lou Canon navigates this tension within ourselves in the downtempo cool, dream-like song and music video for "Coma." Directed by Rebecca Wood, "Coma" finds Canon resisting this thin, invisible layer binding her in plastic passiveness a la Laura Palmer to be reborn. It's minimal, raw, and rightfully challenges the notion that to be feminine is to be silent and pretty. "Coma" is the lead single from Canon's upcoming record Suspicious, out this spring on Paper Bag Records.

Watch the exclusive premiere of Canon's striking video for "Coma" and read our conversation with her below.

Noisey: What does the word coma mean to you?
Lou Canon: Coma is not this cold, passive, asleep statement, but rather a word suggesting huge tension between what I'm feeling and what I'm expressing. It's the experience of being emotionally restricted, suffocated, numb to pain and pleasure, when the storm in my mind is masked by complacency in my body.

It's a welcome change for a music video with nudity to come from the female gaze without objectification. How did your experience on set compare to seeing yourself in the final cut? Did you feel vulnerable?
I'm consciously private with my body whether it's with one person or an audience. I'm the woman that wears a one piece rather than a bikini—in the shade. I'm not actually naked in this video, I was wearing a nude slip. My intention was to avoid appearing "pretty." The director, Rebecca Wood, and I were more focused on the raw and unfiltered aspects of femininity.

A lot of enduring sexism within the music industry, politics, and beyond has become so much more pronounced in the age of Trump. Do you feel more suffocated as a woman this year?
This is a moment to step up and support one another. I find myself choosing women to work with, from my go-to boss lady at Paper Bag Records, to the talented directors of my music videos, the photographers, and all the women contributing special stage pieces. There's a disparity of females in the music industry we need to tribe together. I'm not suffocated — I am empowered.

Can you tell us more about your upcoming album Suspicious?
These are quiet thoughts and emotions associated with the struggles of being in a long-term relationship. I've been married for seven years. I'm constantly shifting, losing my balance, looking for a way through doubt. Questioning. We tend to hide these emotions, to be afraid, ashamed of them. This album was my way of speaking out, using the voice inside my head. Awakening my senses.

I can't help but associate a woman wrapped in plastic with  Twin Peaks'  tragic heroine Laura Palmer. Who are some of your favourite women in film and TV?
I'm crazy for Tilda Swinton. I find her striking. She has a strong sense of self and she's wildly talented. She's napped in a glass box on display at MoMA in New York, learned Italian and Russian for a beautiful role in  I Am Love. She attaches herself to so many incredible projects — I recently discovered her reading on a record that I borrowed from a friend called  The Blue Notebooks.

Jill is obsessed with David Lynch. Follow her on Twitter.