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As the music video of Zebra Libra’s latest single, “Up The Stream”, opens, there’s something muted about the visuals. Even the harmony feels slightly distorted. There’s a grim, grainy aspect to everything. And with the opening verse ending “Drink away the pain,” the moody atmosphere is set.

And while that’s what this song starts as, it builds anthemically. The energy picks up, the melody slides along the scale, and the harmony fills out. The retrospective lyrics balance between that out-of-sync visual opening and the driving heart of this song.

Across every scene, Zebra Libra weaves a distorted or obscured element into the video. With the vintage shots desaturated, they add an RGB split; on the white syc, it’s blown out and a light smoke covers them and the beautiful colors; in the bar, the white balance skews warm; and in the skate park, as close as they get to “perfection,” the gamma and highlights are too high. It parallels beautifully with the struggle in the lyrics and the gently distorted guitars in the harmony.

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As the chorus repeats, “I’ve been going up the stream trying to make it right. Always so close to dream, too far away to win,” you feel that struggle. The whole song is a journey for them, and for the listeners. Vibrant, poignant, and with the right balance of honest pain, their shredding guitar solo and artistic interpretation hits home.

Watch “Up The Stream” below.

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