Amid the haze and pandemonium from the Canadian wildfires raging this summer, Marian Renta remains stoic and dedicated to her projects. As the literal dust temporarily settled, Renta and her video director seized the window of opportunity to troop it up to the picturesque greenery of Fairfield County in Connecticut to shoot footage for her new music video. Despite the heat, fatigue, and staggering air quality, the shoot was a success, and it is today that the single and music video for "Lovely Life" releases and premieres worldwide. Filmed earlier this month, the music video sets the visual landscape for a song that may catch fans off guard, but give insight into another layer to Renta's aesthetic that can evoke intrigue.
Written by Renta in the fall of 2022, "Lovely Life" begins as a guitar-and-voice song that exudes a soft, raw, and intimate storytelling vibe. Centered around the lyrical matter, the first half of the song finds Renta speaking to an ex who has reappeared after a long absence, and this sudden reappearance creates within her a conflict of the head and heart. Details of the relationship are kept obscure, but some bad behavior on the part of said ex is implied and left open for interpretation. Bordering on suspicion, Renta ponders the motives of her ex, and this creates a space to ask the crucial questions and to acknowledge her own fears vulnerabilities regarding this ex. It is within the transition to and midst of the second half of the song that "Lovely Life" fulfills its titular self and marks the breakthrough. It is in this revelatory latter section that the band creeps in and ultimately explodes in grunge manifesto form laden with F-bombs, angsty guitar, and raging drums.
Produced by Renta, "Lovely Life" apparently has a long shelf 'life' because it sat unfinished and unmastered for almost a year. Addressing this, Renta states:
"I've never mixed or engineered a rock track, and this terrified me. I hear the final released mix and still sometimes wonder if I did this right. It sounds good to my ears, but that's not always helpful. Initially, I spent months thinking I would need some outside consulting with this project and if the production was on the right track, but I just couldn't find the time. Then one day, I played the latest mixdown of it and thought, 'damn, this has to be right. I can't find any imbalances or EQ issues. I feel so much emotion listening to this'. So I refined the mixdown and spent a month or two mastering it and letting my ears rest between sessions. I love it."
"Lovely Life" is based on true personal experience, and that is all Renta has stated about that. With the song ready for release, she just needed a music video and visual style to boot. Co-directed and filmed by Vlad Tipicidi, the demand for a video shoot pushed Renta and Tipicidi to fight against the devastating air quality and immense heat, and to make their way to the glorious hills and prairies of Newtown, Connecticut.
Shooting was met with challenges, from a local Jehovah's Witness kingdom hall official citing a land dispute, to battling in a race against the clock to meet film scheduling and deadlines. Temperatures topped the mid-90s, and humidity was at an alarming high, but shooting for the "Lovely Life" music video concluded and was followed by a lengthy recovery period for all involved.
The release of "Lovely Life" today and the premiere of its accompanying music video has so far been met with positive critical reception, but more importantly, marks a pivotal moment in Renta's career that elevates her catalog and establishes more depth and demonstrable versatility.