Frontperson is the latest project of the New Pornographers’ Kathryn Calder and Woodpigeon’s Mark Andrew Hamilton. The Canadian duo makes indie folk rock that feels softened by nature. It hovers around you, unobtrusive, tame, serene.
“Tick-Tock (Frontrunner),” the lead single off their upcoming debut Frontrunner, confronts time. In the accompanying video by Rob Leickner and Ryan Sudds, everything moves backwards. I’m not a big sports person, so watching runners, hurdlers, pole vaulters, and shot putters surge in reverse made sports interesting. Their bodies’ unnatural, jagged, but effortless motion is transfixing against Frontperson’s warm and rolling sound.
The chorus deepens in color. It’s thick and percussive while the video plays around with disorienting mirror images and filters, reminiscent of my time spent on Photo Booth every day after school circa sixth grade. Some thoughts from Calder:
The photograph is now our record cover, it was the inspiration for our album name, and it’s still guiding this record, because we decided to use it as inspiration for the video for our first song, “Tick-Tock (Frontrunner).” I loved the concept of a backwards track meet, because I love how this seemingly small change in perspective (and a change of perspective is something I think we can always use) really brings out the details that go into making these impressive, specialized movements.
And a word from Hamilton:
Personally I love how the video shows something so competitive but by showing it in reverse, equalizes everyone. There’s no winner, everyone ends up back at 0 all together. Watching the footage for the first time, I was stunned by how insane some of those movements are — the things humans do to be the “best” or first is ridiculously amazing. But most of all I love how what they’re doing is so strenuous and at their individual extreme limits, and we see it re-set and disappear.
Watch “Tick-Tock (Frontrunner)” below.
02 “Long Night”
03 “Tick-Tock (Frontrunner)”
04 “He Follows Me”
05 “Young Love”
06 “Shorter Days”
07 “This City Is Mine”
08 “Postcards From A Posh Man”
Frontrunner is out 9/21 via Calder’s own label Oscar St. Records. Pre-order it here.