If you haven't listened to Amanda Shires' My Piece Of Land in a while, it's worth a revisit. "Shires traces the heart's nearly imperceptible shifts," NPR's Ann Powers wrote back in September — each subsequent spin reveals another shift, something small amounting to something seismic.
"Harmless" is particularly devastating in its self-revelation, a chance encounter in a bar that questions her emotional infidelity. "Everything's a sign if you want it to be," she sings with a nervous trill over trembling tremolo guitar. "And you want it to be."
Joshua Britt and Nelson Hubbard from Neighborhoods Apart take "Harmless" out of the bar and out to Loch Ness, so a dive tryst turns into an unexpected love story with a lake monster in a beautifully animated video.
"We actually built parts of each scene and composited many different types of things together," Britt tells NPR. "We made about ten different aluminum foil versions of the monster to cover all the angles and perspectives — lots of compositing, hand-made together with computer-made and putting everything into motion. We wanted to get the water right so sometimes it is paper, some of it is slow motion video we shot during a full moon or rain, lots of it is stuff we shot underwater. It's just a giant mix... anything we loved we put in."
My Piece Of Land is out now. Amanda Shires starts a U.S. tour on Aug. 12. Promotional photo by Brett Warren.