Premiere: Jamie-Lee Dimes unpacks family history through “Release Me”

    In times of chaos, it feels more cathartic than ever to turn to art as solace. Australian singer-songwriter Jamie-Lee Dimes has done just that with her music, turning her own self-realizations into music that explore topics that have risen to the top of social consciousness in recent years. Guided by her own social awakening that came with living on the east coast when Donald Trump was elected in 2016, Dimes became introspective with thoughts of how her own lineage plays a role not only in her personal life, but in the world around her. Highly inspired by artists such as PJ Harvey, Cat Power, Kim Gordon, and Nick Cave, her folk-based melodies reveal a hypnotic and ethereal energy that perfectly soundtrack the introspective nature of her lyrics.

    Spending much of last year on the road and in the recording studio, Dimes is ready to share the work she has been cultivating. Today, Dimes is revealing the music video for her latest single “Release Me.” Writing the track allowed Dimes to come to terms with her own heritage of indigenous, genocidal roots on her father’s side, and the discrimination her family experienced. The song is a cathartic, self-exploration into dealing with conflicting emotions that come with reckoning the role heritage plays into who we are.

    “I wrote ‘Release Me’ when I was living in New York and there was a lot of talk about politics and immigration,” says Dimes. “It got me going deep into my own lineage, experiences, personal blocks, and obstacles in life, which led me to find the commonalities and connection with the current state of society. The lyrics come from a very honest place that is cathartic to sing.”

    She continues, “I shot the music video in Mount Macedon, in country Victoria. It was important to me to shoot the beauty of Australia with the bushfire crisis happening in the country. We used subtle symbolism throughout the video and played on the ideas of transformation through release and freedom from captivity, both internally and externally as well as personally and historically.”

    The video is a sun-drenched portrait of the historic Australian town, Mount Macedon, which was also a scene of Peter Weir’s classic 1975 mystery-drama Picnic at Hanging Rock. Dimes pays homage to the film as she is dressed in the white victorian dress worn by the missing young women in the film.

    Check out a first look at Jamie-Lee Dimes’ new video “Release Me” here: