Memo Guerra is awash with aliases, which he uses to explore distinct sonic projects (alone, or with bands like White Ninja); but he keeps his first name attached to the more straightforward song-writing led tracks. "Separate Leaves" is off the Austin-based, Monterrey-bred musician's new LP, material., and at first viewing, makes us think of Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) with an overt sense of humor.
The video, directed by Sefárdico, keeps a cheeky eye on death, religion, and a bad sell. The protagonist self-deprecatingly becomes the guru of his own expectations. Through the mumbled, layered chanting, you hear phrases like “false starts” and “second time”—echoes of a romance or a life that he wishes he could rewrite, but still can't clearly articulate. Maybe he's embarrassed, or the pain of separation still needs to subside. The tinkering of a piano and lush organs offer a solvent to the distorted, white noise pulse of the track, which underpins the ethereal loops and sitar, skipping like the mantric, disillusioned thoughts of the singer.
In turn, these sounds are mirrored by the play between the Jodorowsky shaman, psychic hotline, and introspective variety hour imagery of the video. Memo is seeking a balance between despair and hope and where one finds it. They say depression is just frustration with not being the person you want to be. By the end of the video, this incarnation of Memo has been reborn a man, taking control of the cross he bears.