A deeply poignant cut from Anaïs Mitchell’s recently released fifth album Young Man In America, ‘Coming Down’ gets an equally poignant video courtesy of director Jay Sansone. Filmed in his childhood home with his old family videos projected onto a wall as Anaïs plays, Sansone describes it as “a testament to the unpredictability of life’s sudden moments.”
Speaking with NPR, Anaïs shed some light on their collaboration: “Jay told me he’d found some old footage taken by his granddad in the 1940s, that he had no idea what was in there, but he’d develop it and find out. I hadn’t seen any of the old stuff when we shot the new footage of me and the spinning reels at his grandma’s abandoned home in Jersey. It was freezing cold and we heated the whole place with space heaters. I wore an old white coat we found in a pile of clothes left by Jay’s grandma. Jay’s dad dropped by the session (it was his childhood house we were shooting in) and hung around tinkering with the reels. He seemed to really enjoy what we were doing and it felt right having this bridge between Jay and the spirits of his grandparents, who are featured in the footage. When I finally saw the old stuff I cried. They feel like people I know. There’s so much love, warmth, humanness, wildness, family and some kind of implied tragedy in the footage. To see the joy and simple bravado of real people who have passed out of this world and to whom we owe everything really knocks you in the chest. I feel so lucky that Jay and his family were willing to connect this beautiful intimate imagery to the music.”
Pass the tissues, please.
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