NICK- The River That’ll Carry Me Home is a song I used to play with my old band Big Score. Big Score essentially had four lead singers and I learnt that trading off lead vocals is a great way to add a breathless energy to a track , as well as get away with murder in terms of song structure. This track would probably be repetitive as hell if it was just me singing it, but with the whole gang weighing in it feels like it goes for about a minute.
Once I put a band together with so many incredible singers it was a no-brainer to do this one, but the fact is the multi-voice thing wasn’t on my mind when wrote it. It’s the same character singing every verse, a weird sort of half gormless Pollyanna/half jester cynic guy, a song character I associate closely with my mid-twenties.
The character singing My Own Little Girl is even more obnoxious again, at least by my reckoning. Writing in an unlikable voice in one of those tricky balances and I’d been waiting for just the right band to play this one with. Of all the numbers I’ve done for this project so far this is the one that I’m a bit nervous about.
LUKE – I’d thought The River That’ll Carry Me Home would be the first salvo of EP #2, and so envisaged the shot of Nick walking into the studio as being our take on the opening of Stop Making Sense, where the camera tracks along David Byrne’s feet.
I’d imagined Nick arriving in the room just in time to sing the first line, but the way it played out lets the arrangement breathe, and we get to know/see each of the musicians before the song takes off. The handheld shots feel intimate – complemented with a few post-production light leaks, it gives the clip a warm and funky vibe.
From a director’s point of view, My Own Little Girl is my favourite of this batch. It’s certainly the boldest, conceptually – a live music clip where we don’t actually see anyone playing their instruments(!). The clip is composed entirely of close-ups of the performers’ faces.
Ben Lane warned me it might be too intense, and just after we finished filming it, I had a small panic attack – if it didn’t work, we had no back-up footage. Thankfully, it does work – mostly down to the relaxed and natural presence of the performers. It’s the visual equivalent of someone whispering a secret into your ear.