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Frau Knotz - Single/Video Review: Runway of Reality

23 Mar 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin
I’d describe the newest single by Frau Knotz as glamorous, playful and psychedelic. To match this description, It has a fitting title Runway of Reality. Frau Knotz, also known as Lauren Nottingham, is based in Taranaki and is the singer, pianist, producer and composer of this song of theatrical merit. It explores the idea of fashion and identity having the ability to be shaped, changed and performed. The song’s lyrics conceptualise this idea through the image of a figure, equivalent to a protagonist in a theatre play, whose image suggests a detachment from reality. It has a familiar sound that you’d expect to see in the same playlist as Grimes, La Roux or Robyn.

This song follows from her debut single titled Supernova which you’d also expect to hear at an underground dance club set in the 80s. What’s particularly interesting is that Knotz shows her ability to syncopate her vocals. It melts into the sound of the synth to make it ultra-modern and adds a touch of allure to the rhythm. There is some clear inspiration here from the electronic era of the 80s which included bands such as Tears for Fears and Ultravox.

The accompanying music video had videographer Ben D’Ath (Drax Project, Coterie) bring the visuals of the song to life. I enjoyed the remarkable parallel between the music video being set in a Theatre to match the theatrical sound. “We shot it in The King Theatre in Stratford, which is the first ever movie theatre in the Southern Hemisphere to have screened ‘talkies’ (pictures with sound). I’m really stoked to be able to feature Taranaki with regards to the arts (and history of the arts) in this region.”

Inspired by the sinister and haunting stories told about The King Theatre the video has its own phantom figure creeping around a fictional theatre. It is to be acknowledged that drag queen Erika Flash (Daniel Lockett) makes a stunning performance as the protagonist in the video alongside Lauren who plays the theatre usher. The shots of the protagonist getting dressed with make-up and wigs in a changing room are especially eye-catching as well as the shadow work of the phantom usher.

This whole project makes you consider how compelling it is to see a musical artist create an alter egos to amplify their sound. It’s exciting to hear that Frau Knotz is intending to have an event for NZ Music Month for the release of Runway of Reality at The King’s Theatre. Now it’s up to us to follow her creative odyssey as this electropop queen is preparing to release a 7-Track EP very soon.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Frau Knotz

The original songs of singer, pianist, producer and composer Lauren Nottingham have touched down on Earth under the moniker Frau Knotz. These avant-pop tracks simulate echoes of an extra-terrestrial yet power-packed video game soundtrack in which La Roux, Grimes and Robyn are characters With lyrics that draw from daring, playful scenarios to heartfelt, ubiquitous musings faced by modern society, added to dramatic synths and driving rhythms, Frau Knotz is not afraid to expose all sides of her three-dimensional character. Her voice is powerfully emotive and futuristic, often juxtaposing human tenderness and fragility with a post-apocalyptic, synthesized alter ego.

Complex modulations of harmony glitter throughout her music from a university degree in jazz and over a decade of fangirling over progressive rock legends such as Devin Townsend, Frost and Dream Theater.

Channeling rave nostalgia and Eurodisco, Frau Knotz toggles between whimsical fantasies and dark truths, switches propulsive rhythms and expansive balladry and tunes glamor with gameplay to concoct elixirs of dance. Get ready; Frau Knotz vows to take you on a deep sonic odyssey beneath her blissful blonde brain.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Frau Knotz


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