“Pleader,” the closing track on Alt-J’s recent album Relaxer, is based on How Green Was My Valley, Richard Llewelyn’s book set in a small mining town in 19th century Wales. Today the song becomes the basis for a short film by director Isaiah Seret, the latest in a long line of interesting Alt-J music videos. Vocalist Joe Newman shared some backstory with NPR:
When we set out to make a video for “Pleader,” [I] sent the following one-line brief to director, Isaiah Seret: “A Welsh mining love story; A tidal wave of earth.” What Isaiah came back with was an epic short-film inspired both by the song’s source material and Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice. A family must pit their desire to have a child against the knowledge that this would destroy their community. The hypnotic, hymnal quality of the song binds the video throughout, hinting at redemption while destruction takes place.
Relaxer is out now on.