Actor Craig Stark (Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight) takes a desperate trip through the desert in the new video for Alberta Cross‘ “Ghost of Santa Fe.” A grizzled-looking Stark navigates a barren Joshua Tree National Park landscape, coming upon fleeting visions — including a woman in white, a blue-faced man and Alberta Cross singer-songwriter Petter Ericson Stakee himself, sitting in the back of a pickup truck — as psychedelic effects distort his features. The clip’s cryptic imagery, realized by director Chris Rubino, heightens the drama of an already-haunting song.
“Ghost of Santa Fe,” a dramatic folk-rock tune with a soaring chorus hook sung by the Sweden-born, Brooklyn-based Stakee in a eerily high register, is the first single from Alberta Cross’ recent third album, a self-titled effort issued in October by Dine Alone Records.
“The video is inspired by the abstract ambiguity of the lyrics and a discussion Chris Rubino and I had about David Bowie’s The Man Who Fell to Earth,” Stakee told Rolling Stone. “In some way the overall feeling and vibe of that movie felt close to what ‘Ghost of Santa Fe’ is about to me. Escapism, heartbreak, longing but in a more surreal way.”
“This video uses the sense of discovery through the subconscious,” Rubino told RS. “We are seeing through the frightened then enlightened eyes of our character. We become immersed in his hallucinatory visual world. I love the energy of this song. Initially I envisioned a road trip — that excitement, that freedom. Instead of making that trip in a car, we decided to do that on foot. Our man runs, climbs, stumbles his way through the epic environment of Joshua Tree. He is struck with the impulse to leave and head towards the unknown, or is he running away from something? Looking to cast an actor to be very physical and embrace the environment we planned on shooting in, we got very lucky to find Craig Stark, who no doubt threw himself into the role of our man who wakes up in the desert.”