The new video from the NYC metalcore / alt-rock band offers gothic fairytale vibes, illustrating a story “of loss and the subsequent growth that follows”


While Hobby Lobby-sourced millennial wall art has been loudly and proudly proclaiming Live, Laugh, Love for the last dozen years, the oft-embroidered philosophy is missing another crucial L word, one that plays just as big a role in our lives and equally, though not as easy-breezily, defines the human experience: loss.

Jobs, freedoms, opportunities. Lovers, pets, parents. Life is littered with loss. Everyone has struggled with it, or will. And while I certainly don’t want to glorify grief, it’s worth noting that, once you’ve healed, there are some positive outcomes that can arise from this extremely painful process, as you stretch your emotional limits, learn what you can survive and take one step forward… then another… then another… as a newer, stronger version of yourself.

Beyond personal growth and learning, loss also inspires creation—and this time I’m not talking about the embroidering of motivational phrases on throw pillows. This universal experience—and the confusion, anger and despair that can result—is the inspiration for an incredible amount of art, and here I’d like to point you in the direction of one song and video in particular: “Past Tense,” the debut from NYC metalcore/alt-rock band Karmella.

When “Past Tense” dropped last month, Javi Delgado of the band (also, fun fact, our fave bartender at The Nest) shared a bit about the track, which serves as a meditation on loss and what’s left behind when grief is gone.

“Karmella’s debut single ‘Past Tense’ tells a tale of loss and the subsequent growth that follows, with an emphasis on the sober reflection of the best and worst memories that remain. The spite felt by being left behind is a grief we all have felt. This anthemic debut speaks on the struggles surrounding the finality of loss, as well as the closure that is hard won after grieving has run its course, however bittersweet that may be.”

As for the vid—directed and edited by Ian Bridgman—if the Grimm brothers were alive, into metal and made a music video, this would be it. Peaceful palates and moments of softness are laced with mysterious, ominous undertones as Javi follows a white-dressed woman through the forest, the video taking a violent shift that corresponds with the change in the artist’s delivery, as for the first time he switches from singing to screaming when faced with the mystery woman’s face, her teeth bared, blood dripping from one eye socket and a flower blooming from the other.

With their art, Karmella seeks to deliver “personal truths accompanied by a heartfelt sonic barrage of the worst and best of the human experience,” and the debut single and video are the first shining example of the group doing just that as they explore how the beauty of the past can become the pain of the present before eventually revealing the promise of the future. Live, love, lose… and keep on living.


Follow Karmella at @karmellanyc and add the music to your Spotify playlists!

Feature image provided by the band.

Leave a Reply