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Watch Slow Dancer's Grainy, Atmospheric Video For 'I Would'

Jul 14, 2017

By the end of the beautiful video for "I Would," Slow Dancer is cloaked in muddied white fur and dancing with ecstatic abandon on a frigid beach in Melbourne, Australia. If you don't know the romantic Australian singer-songwriter, you couldn't ask for a better introduction — it's a moment that captures the warmth, nostalgia and yearning that animates his work.

"I Would" is one of the standout tracks from Slow Dancer's recently released second record, In A Mood. Simon Okely, the man behind Slow Dancer, reanimates some of the mystical sounds and full-hearted purpose of late-'60s and early-'70s British folk here. His voice has the throaty tenderness and modest delivery of that era; the song's drums enter with a timid, lo-fi hi-hat pattern that recalls "Sweet Thing" by Van Morrison and Okely's rushed, finger-picked acoustic and breathless arrangement create a hazy atmosphere akin to Bryter Layter-era Nick Drake.

The music video, directed by Mclean Stephenson, captures that aesthetic. Mclean interposes shots of a wan Okely with the Melbourne wilderness and bits of deteriorating Super 8mm film to create a dusky, nostalgic atmosphere.

"Melbourne freezes in the winter. And it was muddy," Stephenson told NPR via email. "Everything got wet, including Simon, who I kept making lay in the dirt. He didn't complain once over the two days, although he did get sick."

Sick-making or not, Okely and Stephenson have rekindled that folk spirit here again, among the icy beaches, dry reeds and reedy acoustics of this lovely video and song.

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