You probably remember when we lost our shit over Phosphorescent’s major breakthrough Pride last year. We were a little disappointed to find the album’s first clip — Matthew stumbling around a European hotel room shirtless and drunk — wasn’t commensurate with “At Death”‘s rich, elegiac march. Clearly he’s trying to avoid a similar fate here. “A Picture” opens like a montage from a romantic comedy, friends and family arriving to Houck’s place in the country, Phos man greeting each one with a hug and acceptance of their food, flowers, and birds … and then she arrives. She smiles. How can he do anything but just stare? “It’s been so long, you look like I remember … but better. Is that weird? How did we even get here? It’s like the years have gone and there’s so much I want to say, so much I’ve said I want to take back and … well fuck it, it’s too early to mess this up. It’s just … I’m happy you came,” he says with his eyes. Then the party’s out in the snow, and here’s where directors Zachary Sluser and Matt Theisen earn their keep, with rich and crisp views of the landscape, Phosphorescent looking like a Grecian deity, and bonding with his horse. OK, maybe not so much the last part.
Nice work, all. Moving. Pride deserves a moment like this. Although … what exactly happens at the end there? That could change our take. Here’s some more insight from director Z. Sluser:
The location is the countryside in and around Fairfield, IA where I grew up. It’s a small town of about 10,000 people an hour south of Iowa City. The support from the people in the town itself was a huge
help. We borrowed half of our grip and electric gear from a local infomercial company. The cast and crew spent 2 days in the freezing cold with us during their winter holidays. The owner of the horse was really into the whole idea and gave us the freedom to execute our ideas without thinking twice. Matt and I had never worked with horses before, but Matthew put our fears at rest as he not only was the star of the video but also became the horse wrangler (you’ll have to ask him to chime in on his childhood horse experience, but he was a natural with him).
Some Phosphorescent for your pocket:
Pride is out on Dead Oceans.