Manuel Gagneux (Zeal & Ardor) Returns as Birdmask, Premieres Video for “Set Me on Fire”: Stream

The Zeal & Ardor singer revisits his long-running solo project

Birdmask Premiere
Birdmask, courtesy of The Syndicate

    Zeal & Ardor frontman Manuel Gagneux has revived his long-running solo project, Birdmask, and is premiering the music video for new song “Set Me on Fire” exclusively via Heavy Consequence.

    Birdmask is Gagneux in his own creative element. Although some of the atmosphere and experimental ideas of his metal outfit Zeal & Ardor are present here, Gagneux embraces a varied spectrum of sounds — “pop-rocked-bliss” as he calls it. Most notably, his soaring vocals remain right up front.

    “I’ve had this song ready for a couple of years now but being preoccupied with other projects kind of forced me to leave it on the back burner,” Gagneux says. “I feel like it’s about time to let it out. In the time between then and now I was lucky enough to tour the world with a different project, score plays and start a secretive anonymous project as well, but Birdmask will always be the name that I identify most with.”


    He continues, “It sort of feels like coming back home in a sense. I’ve tasted a great many fruits and licked my wounds all around the globe and it just might be time to head back home. Greet old faces and maybe even sculpt new ones that might find comfort in this place.”

    The song’s video, directed by Nic Sandiland and choreographed by Yael Flexer, holds artistic merits in its own right. Filmed under social distancing conditions, it’s as elegant as Birdmask’s song, the two pieces enhancing one another in turn.

    “There have been a fair number of ballet-based music videos over the past few years, but not so many which incorporate contemporary dance, which is our main area of practice,” Sandiland said. “Yael and I took this as an excellent opportunity to introduce a new flavor of movement into the genre bringing together some of our key Company members at a time when all live theatre shows have ground to a halt. Working under social distancing meant a skeleton crew of just four people (including our dancer, Luke Birch) all multitasking without the luxury of assistant directors, runners, grips etc.”


    Watch the video for “Set Me on Fire” below, and download the song here.