Grant-Lee Phillips has been a fixture of the Los Angeles music scene for so long that it hurts a little bit to know that he has recently moved to Nashville. But when one hears his most recent album, The Narrows, was recorded in Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Studio, and when one sees the video to his latest single, “Cry Cry,” which features gorgeous footage from the depths of a snow-dusted forest in Tennessee (and which we are exciting to be premiering here), one can cut him a little slack.
In Grant-Lee’s own words: “The video for ‘Cry Cry’ was shot on one fortuitous afternoon in the midst of a winter storm. ‘Cry Cry,’ in a gestural way, is attempting to touch upon the Trail Of Tears. It’s the kind of story that’s too big to tell in a song. Hopefully it sparks a desire to dig deeper into this tragic chapter in our history though. The Removal of the Cherokee, Muskogee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole began in the brutally harsh winter of 1832. As it happened, one of the biggest snowstorms in recent years hit in January of 2016. As a result I cancelled a few dates and found myself off the road in Nashville. Seizing upon this opportunity, my wife and I traipsed into the snowy woods near our home with a Nikon D3200. Shooting with an 85 mm Petzval lens brought out the surreal quality of the forest in winter. Denise Siegel-Phillips, my wife, shot the footage of me and when her toes were about frozen off, I went back for a few more details. We acquired additional aerial footage to convey a sense of place and I edited it all with Adobe editing software. There’s something meaningful in producing the video ourselves.”
It is a starkly elegant video. And it is entirely Grant-Lee, who we’ll still claim as one of our own. To prove it, he returns to perform at McCabe’s Guitar Shop on Friday, April 1.