Shallowhalo’s 'Renaissance Affair' Is One for the Ages

Shallowhalo’s 'Renaissance Affair' Is One for the Ages

Shallowhalo is in their renaissance era. On their single “Renaissance Affair,” released today, the Brit-pop duo sport sunglasses and powdered wigs as they sing along to playful '80s pop synth — okay, there are many eras at play there.

Shallowhalo’s revival is as bright-eyed and full-cheeked as a Sistine Chapel cherub. Their latest single, premiering today on PAPER, falls at the heels of the single “Crystal Ball,” the duo's second release with Melbourne label Dinosaur City Records.

In “Renaissance Affair," French aristocracy meets camcorder meets karaoke as Shallowhalo's Allyson Camitta and May Rio, who provided backing vocals for the single, go gallivanting across New York City streets, exploring the lore and LARPing of New York nightlife. The visual was filmed by nightlife documentarian Jackie Young.

“I incorporated footage from the times over the last few months I’ve seen Allyson and May play around New York,” said Young. “Each time, I’ve re-recorded over existing footage on the same worn-down Mini DV Tape, creating an analog glitching collage which felt fitting for how the New York music scene can feel like a fast-paced blur.”

Clothing and accessories: Arachne

By re-inventing history, the music video allows its protagonists to reinvent themselves. Occupying an ambiguous space between life and play, “Renaissance Affair” encourages listeners to live their life like make-believe. Reminiscent of childhood costumes and characters, Camitta and Rio live out their fantasies and find themselves in the process.

"'Renaissance Affair' was written over this past summer," Camitta recalls. "I was going out regularly to a friend’s weekly DJ gig at Home Sweet Home in the Lower East Side and then took a picturesque trip upstate to the Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo, New York where we dressed up in medieval outfits and took a bunch of mushrooms. The song is a mashup of the pageantry and escapism of dressing up and going out in the city — the fantasy of it all.”

The track itself blends Italo Disco, tape echoes, flute and an '80s-ready baseline with additional vocals from Rio — wrapping a host of voices, styles and sounds up into one repeat-worthy beat.

Below, watch the PAPER premiere of Shallowhalo's "Renaissance Affair."

Photography: Marcus Maddox
Styling: Kailee X