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First Watch: Eskimeaux, 'Broken Necks'

I've listened to Eskimeaux's O.K.more than any other record this year. I madly love this music: It's intimate, with abundant joy and sorrow. From that album, "Broken Necks" is a song about two lovers and friends trying to make it all work.

While you were breaking your neck trying to keep your head up
I was breaking my neck just to stick it out for you

Gabrielle Smith sings this bittersweet song as if her best friend is sitting right with her. She closes with the words, "Open up your hands and accept that this is ending / Nothing in this world is holier than friendship."

Video director Robert Kolodny says that when he heard the song, he imagined something more akin to Pee-wee's Playhouse than a lovers' tale:

"The synth started from my speakers, and by the time the drums came in, my printer was singing its weird mechanical sounds in perfect tempo. I looked down at the paper coming out, staggering as the ink pressed and typed across it, and it really seemed like it was dancing to the song. I started bobbing my head and imagined all of the inanimate objects in the House of Nod office dancing to this really beautiful, fun song. I locked eyes with the cereal box on my desk (which is what I'd eaten for breakfast), and that was the first big image that I knew I'd want to incorporate into the music video. The reassembled ice cream and frantic teddy bears soon followed. The final shot of the video, with Gabby on the beach locking right onto the camera, was also something that came very organically. The final verses of the song are so intimate, stark and honest that I couldn't image it happening any other way; her looking at you, speaking right to you."

It isn't what I imagined a video of this song to be, but any sort of visually literal story would have stolen from the song's magic and innocence. Robert Kolodny went for whimsy and matched the song's perfect simplicity.

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