Update: Full "Under the Boxcars" video added below.
"I think video is absolutely vital," says Kitty Vincent of Le Divorce, which recently finished production on a new video for "Under the Boxcars," the first single from the band's latest effort, The Sting and the Light. "We are a visual society living in the age of YouTube and Pitchfork. It's much harder to get a reviewer or blogger who doesn't know you personally to take you seriously if you don't have something visual they can post."
With that in mind, Vincent is proud of the video for "Under the Boxcars" (slated to premiere this Saturday, March 10, at the hi-dive) and pumped for its unveiling, noting the band's hours of work and creative input while collaborating with the video's director. "We sat down with Jeremy Poley several times before we began shooting," Vincent recalls. "He asked us for ideas and images that were meaningful to us or to the song. One of the images we came up with was an Andrew Wyeth painting 'Christina's World.' The image is isolated and lonely and quite beautiful. The song is about isolation in a number of ways, so the image was fitting. We also wanted the video to have a heavily effected quality, and a retro feel, something reminiscent of 120 minutes."
Themed around the idea of leaving the city in favor of more palatable environments, the first half of the video features shots of different bandmembers either on the light rail or driving down Broadway, eventually ending up in a pastoral landscape of prairie grass and open skies. "I wanted an easy and concrete concept: exiting the city," Poley explains. "I wanted a few ideas to lay on top of the concept for what exiting a city could possibly mean; not connecting with people and returning to one's roots were the most obvious."
The second half of the video takes on a more surreal, aesthetically visceral feel, with the band wandering through the countryside, finding half-buried mannequin heads and planting trees for unclear reasons. "I don't think there's a solid narrative thread, although there is a loose timeline of events that's followed through to the end," Poley notes. "I'd rather someone feel lost and confused than feel forced to think a certain way. At least there would still be room to enjoy it aesthetically."
Given the grueling schedule required to pull this thing off, it sounds like shooting the video was a labor of love for both Poley and the band. "Every member and ex-member of Le Divorce was a baller," Poley remembers, adding that whether it was "'5 AM', 'freezing cold', 'after work', '14 hour day', 'held out the back of a truck swerving in a bumpy field with a tripod between every leg and arm' -- none of these things scared this crew. They're stubbornly good-natured people, and, as a result, an absolute dream for any director."
"I have to say," says Vincent, "after driving for two hours at dawn, shooting all day in a field, trying to avoid cow shit, staying warm in freezing wind and not breaking my neck hanging off the back of a pickup truck, we all started to understand why rap videos are shot poolside in swank hotels."
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