Americana Highways brings you this video premiere of Adrian + Meredith’s song “Even,” from their forthcoming album Bad For Business due out in spring 2021. Bad For Business was tracked in Nashville, TN at The Yacht Shop; produced and mixed by Mark Robertson, engineered by Aaron Shafer-Haiss, with additional mixing by Shae Brossard and Scot Thiessen at Hotel2Tango, Montreal QC. Then is was sent to be mastered by Ken Love.
“Even” is Adrian Krygowski on vocals, and acoustic guitar; Meredith Krygowski on fiddle and vocals; Paul Niehaus on electric guitar; Mark Robertson on bass; Aaron Shafer-Haiss on drums and auxiliary percussion; Ken Francis Wenzel on baritone saxophone, Fats Kaplan on accordion; Diego Vasquez on trombone; and Robert M Gray on trumpet.
Here is a mini conversation with Adrian + Meredith about this song. The video is beneath the interview.
AH: Talk a bit about the song. What is it about and what prompted you or inspired you to write it?
Meredith: What started as a Klezmer tune, this song turned into a full rock and roller. “Even” is a processing moment, as we continue to watch both sides of the political spectrum cut off their noses to spite their faces (see presidential debate #1). With social media allowing for a lack of accountability in confrontation, this song is an observation of the obsession with false justice and “getting even,” as opposed to true conversation and healthy debate.
AH: This song comes from a forthcoming album and is the second single from that album. What does this song tells us about the album overall as a sneak-peek for fans?
Meredith: This is the opening track of our new record, and, while stylistically this song is the most punk/rock of the record, we knew we wanted it to be the opening statement. So much of the new record is a result of reflection and conversation of how frustrating our political system feels at the moment. “Even” lays it all out on the table.
AH: The video taps into the vibe of the song really well. Whose idea was the video treatment?
Adrian: The video was filmed by Kaedi Dishen with a FujiFilm X-Pro 2. Though mostly used for photography, she wanted the shots to be hand-held to give it that “in the moment” feel. We were super inspired by a piece called “Ocean without a Shore” by Bill Viola, and realized the added treatment fit the tone of the song and lyrics.
It’s the darkest song on the record, and we have to go there, if nothing but to show the range of what this time in history is capable of. The clips were all edited with overlays and filters, most of the dance clips are actually being shown in reverse. The visual aesthetic with the water and plastic was something that I had in my mind before we went to shoot, but it was a true collaboration on set to make it come to fruition.
AH: Who directed it? Did you film it during quarantine? Where did you film it? Who is the dancer in the clip?
Meredith: It was a small crew of Adrian, Meredith, videographer Kaedi Dishen, the dancer/actress Lindsey, and her husband Josh who helped on set. It was created at our friend Kristen Andreassen’s house in Madison, TN, all “social-distancing style.” Kristen was thrilled her house was being used for a creative project, so there were a lot of positive vibes considering the dark nature of the result!
Lindsey has been making and performing dance for over 12 years. She has been a company dancer with Milwaukee-based company Wild Space Dance for six seasons, and she has freelanced with companies and artists alike across the country, including De Facto Dance, The Coincidentals, and alongside rapper/artist Kanye West. Lindsey is also Adrian’s sister, which made making this video even more special. Lindsey has performed alongside Adrian for years, but this is their first documentation of their collaborations.
AH: What do you think the video reveals about you and about the song?
Adrian: Turns out we probably need therapy? In all seriousness, it’s been a dark chapter for getting along and empathy in U.S. history. Sometimes, it feels like the walls are closing in, and we can’t really expect that art won’t reflect it. I think more troubled themes will be in art, especially after having the brain-space to look back upon it. But we feel it is an opportunity to take those creative risks, without holding back. This video was really all about processing all our feelings and stress, not just in COVID times, but as Americans in general.
AH: Any funny/great stories from the video shoot?
Meredith: Two funny stories, actually. First, we made sure to have dancer Lindsey’s husband as the person who dumped water on her for the whole shoot, which was filmed in slow motion. Lindsey was a trooper about it, but I think Adrian and her husband Josh had a little too much fun tormenting Lindsey with buckets of water. There was more than one moment where they asked to do another take, even though we had it. The second this was while we were tracking Lindsey’s footage with plastic-wrap and water, the house owner and our friend Kristen was walking by randomly and said, “I’m sensing a theme of suffocation and a potential ambulance call?” That was all she said, and she kept about her day. We loved that even though we had dragged a garden hose up through the second story window of her house to fill buckets, she was totally in it for the art.
Find music here: https://sym.ffm.to/kv21rqr With inverted color and flashy, splashy negative shots, this video and its song will shake you up into attention. Adrian + Meredith provide a contemporary liberation from the darker emotional cave we seem to have been in all-too-often lately. Check it out: