Praises Explores Cancer Battle in "Hunter" Video

The video features animations of Jesse Crowe's CT scans

BY Matt BobkinPublished Dec 3, 2020

Praises kicked off 2020 with the release of EP THREE via Hand Drawn Dracula, and now Jesse Crowe is ending the year by treating one of the EP's tracks to a new video. The video for "Hunter" features animations of Crowe's CT scans from their battle with cancer this past spring.

In an email to Exclaim!, Crowe writes:

I was diagnosed with rectal cancer in the summer of 2019. I went in for a colonoscopy after finding blood in the toilet after generally feeling awful while going to the washroom. When the doctor said he was rushing my biopsy, I knew I was in for something beyond routine.

This cancer path has taken my body on a few different rides. After finding out I was sick, the emotional toll of telling my parents, friends, family and clients was exhausting. Considering my fatigue was already straining my ability to cope with regular life, it was pretty tough to advocate for myself with doctors while fielding calls from my mom and trying to skateboard, go on dates and work a job. Next was the shock of realizing that I would never be able to grow a baby. Now, as a non-binary person, it may come as a shock, but I did want the option, and I loved the power of my ability to create life. Radiation treatment was going to take that away. Radiation wasn't as hideous as chemo, I found out quickly that I was allergic to chemo, so I did radiation by itself which was a blessing. It was boring, it was 28 days going in alone and coming out feeling really tired and really really hungry. After that I was waiting for surgery and getting used to being in menopause, which I do not recommend. Surgery was successful from a cancer standpoint, but I ended up with a blocked ileostomy bag and having an extremely painful month in the hospital with a tube down my nose, only to end in a second surgery.

These days I can do most of the things I originally could. I skateboard, I dance, I work, however, I'm weak, my muscles and nerves and bones and joints all ache and all get mad at me constantly. I'm left with wicked hot flashes, a messed up sex drive and no longer being able to do the splits. ha ha ha. 

During this time I actually wrote most of my next record. I didn't dive lyrically into cancer too deeply, but did dive more into gender and the body in that way. Now that I'm cancer-free at this time, I've emerged in this weird COVID world with everyone else. At first, the urge and pressure to write constantly was sitting over my head and my partner Julia and I worked daily to write, record and play. Lately, I'm able to switch between more brains and cherish the moments when I'm feeling inspired. My goals for the start of 2021 are to finish the next Praises record, featuring my new live band — Mike Boyd, Kristina Koski, Andrew Lacombe and Braedan Craig — and to also do an ambient record as a way to move beyond words and flesh out my year of cancer through sound.

The "Hunter" video features footage of Crowe's CT scans animated by director Jordan Allen. Says Allen, "This is the scan set from the discovery of cancer to the eradication of cancer. Jesse Crowe had access to all of their CT and MRI scans, and reached out to see if I might be able to animate them together into a full-length video. It was such a neat idea, I couldn't resist seeing what sort of twisted imagery would come out of editing them together. The scans are very alive on their own, but when you put them to music they come to life in a much different way; it becomes like a dance, as if Jesse's body is naturally reacting to the music without actually hearing it."

Earlier this year, Crowe and their partner, Julia Wittmann of For Jane, performed a pair of Portishead covers at Toronto's Monarch Tavern as part of the Class of T.O. video series.

Watch the "Hunter" video below.


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