Bella Moore | Grotesquely Gorgeous Love on an Arid Summer’s Eve

The Los Angeles-based singer releases video to accompany debut single, “Benny Valentine”

Written by

Annie Bush

Photographed by

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Styled by

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Photographed by Elliot Weaver

There’s a point on an arid summer’s evening, on the precipice between dusk and darkness, in which the heat of the day builds to a critical and near hysteric point. On this particular evening, in this particular season, the barrier between ecstasy and evil is unbearably brittle; bone thin, even. A hot dusk is equally as sinister as it is erotic, and if there’s any way to properly experience such a grotesque sort of hour, it’s alongside someone with whom you share a tantalizing and perhaps vaguely dangerous love. Los Angeles-based artist Bella Moore dexterously tapped that affect earlier this year in debut dreamy single “Benny Valentine,” but today, Moore crystallizes the feeling in the single’s video, which is premiering with LaunchLeft, a label headed by Escape Artist Lovers' Rain Phoenix. According to Rain, the video is a "love story, but also a cautionary tale about jealousy and redemption set in a sleepy desert town replete with villains and beautiful monsters.”

Directed by Moore's fiancé and singer of the band Limo, Ben Howley, the video follows a couple through a hazy miasma of depravity, lust, and love as they quarrel and embrace in a small town strip club and stark landscape. “‘Benny Valentine’ is a love song,” Moore has said of the single. “It reminds me of a nightmare and a dream all at once. It’s a feeling of doom and being eternal, living in love and not fear.” Indeed, the mesmeric video invokes the svelte boundary between love and death without actually displaying anything obscene– one scene depicts a lover in a brawl with a strip club customer and then being beaten (artfully!) by club employees. Another finds Moore’s character alone, moodily swirling a bottle of wine. The lovers embrace in a hall of mirrors; the lovers run through a grove of palm trees at night; Moore writhes drunkenly, around a pole. Like the song, the video is dry and glittering, evoking a sort of untraceably carnal, distinctly American melancholy. 

Moore, who became a musician last summer after she met a young boy who read her palm and told her to do so, is proving to be exceedingly successful at her endeavor into the music world. Her brooding, sometimes incomprehensible melodies meld dreamy shoegaze with nostalgic, old-country sentiment. If you aren’t into her now, get into her soon. Bella Moore has only just begun.

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Bella Moore, Annie Bush, Music, Benny Valentine