In Julia Weldon’s impactful “Soon II” video, the hardship of high school romance and the ensuing drama is recounted through the eyes of the Brooklyn indie-folk singer and someone currently in the thick of it — the video’s 17-year old director.
The influence of director and current student Kevin von Puttkammer’s high school experience in northern New Jersey is clearly apparent in the video. Not only did it serve as the set for the one-day shoot, but it was during a Weldon’s annual guest visit for the school’s National Poetry Day event that she linked up with von Puttkammer while he was snapping pictures.
“[National Poetry Day] is always a rad experience because high school was when I really delved into songwriting as a way to get through hard feelings, but this past year was even more special because I met Kevin,” Weldon tells Billboard. “I could tell he had a great eye so I sent along my new album Comatose Hope and we started chatting about working on a music video… Before I knew it, Kevin had carefully selected his favorite track on the album, written up a professional treatment and put together a full cast and crew.”
The resulting video is full of difficult interactions and heartbreak that always feel realistic and relatable, an advantage of having a director still tied so closely to the setting. To his credit, von Puttkammer and a group of friends approached the somber track with a maturity and proficiency not typically associated with young filmmakers.
Kevin looks back on the shoot like a crash course learning experience, saying, “Through preparing, producing and finally editing the project, I worked with singers, producers, colorists and finished the music video with more professional experience than I could have imagined obtaining in my junior year of high school.”
The honest portrayal of high school life is punctuated by Weldon’s effortlessly affecting voice that astonishes and eases with its disarming vulnerability. The delicate power behind their voice is especially genuine as “Soon II” is part of a collection of songs inspired by Weldon’s harrowing experience in a coma after gender affirming surgery.
The incident led to what would become Comatose Hope, Weldon’s second studio album which was released independently on July 13. It was recorded in London and produced by Drew Morgan (producer for Perfume Genius). As for “Soon II,” the video is yet another entry in a project built on unexpected circumstance.
“I never thought Comatose Hope would include a music video directed by a 17-year old, but I’m feeling pretty lucky it does,” Weldon beams.
Check out the video for “Soon II” below.