Sharkk Heartt’s new music video takes the viewer on I-10, heading through the dark of night, east out of Tucson into the desert. It’s a simple evening highway scene that blooms with bursts of color and builds with the intensity of the song.
Set to be released on September 3, the music video for “Hush We Found” adds a sense of place and movement to a song that’s already gained a following on KXCI 91.3 in Tucson, Arizona. The song was released on Wars Our Mothers Foughtearlier this year, and its resonance with others prompted Sharkk Heartt’s Lara Ruggles to complement its contemplative soundscape with a visual journey.
Ruggles created the music video for “Hush We Found” with her husband, Kevin Hainline, earlier this summer. She drove and he filmed. They’d traveled that road together before — in 2016, on the night they met. He was an astronomer, and she knew of a great place to see the desert sky. It was perhaps an “ill-advised” first date, she admits. But their meeting was one of the events that led the Tucson native to stay in Arizona, having moved there after nine years in Denver.
“Hush We Found” was not specifically written about that experience, but it reflects a similar sentiment. It’s meant to “capture the feeling of an intensely felt, shared moment,” Ruggles says. And it does so with sparse lyrics that describe the silence between evening and night.
“When the dusk came down / In the hush we found / Our breathing is the loudest sound,” Ruggles sings.
Ruggles was always a lyrics-first musician, she explains, and “Hush We Found” is a deviation from her typical songwriting process. “I wanted to write something without worrying if it was a complete narrative with a beginning, middle and end,” she says. “There’s not a lot in there lyrically. What’s there could be interpreted in a million ways.”
Still, the music itself offers a driving beat, with pulsing synthesizers and vocals that are layered with reverb. Now, with the video, it creates a pensive, transitory state. Ruggles hopes that listeners will find something in the song “that speaks to where they are,” she says. “I hope it can create a feeling of being really gently swept away into something for a few minutes....
“Part of art’s function is to provide those spaces to be human and soft — to feel whatever you’re feeling and not achieve something and not produce something,” she adds.
Outside of songwriting, Ruggles engages in arts advocacy. During the pandemic, she came to the realization that she might no longer tour as a musician. Instead, she put her efforts into fundraising for the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), which petitioned the government to include money for venues in the CARES Act last fall.
She’s now on NIVA’s board of directors, and serves as president of its Southwest chapter and chair of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. The organization is currently advising artists on how to navigate safe performances during the pandemic, especially when twenty states have enacted bans on mask mandates. It’s also working to “help create a sustainable future for independent venues” beyond the pandemic, she adds.
Though “Hush We Found” is technically about a certain kind of romantic intimacy, it’s also about “taking a risk and moving forward,” Ruggles says. “We have to guess whether it's good for us, and we have to have a crazy faith or trust that we’ll come out of it okay.”
“Maybe that’s part of why it resonates,” she adds. “That could certainly speak to where we are now and where we’ve been for the last year.”
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