The song: The lead single from Chesapeake, Rachael Yamagata s first album since 2008 s Elephants Teeth Sinking Into Hearts, Starlight cements her transformation from a hushed folky to a full-on rocker in the mold of PJ Harvey. That comparison is going to get tossed around a lot, with Yamagata playing up her whiskey-scratched voice over a driving bassline and moody keyboards.The video: Using a lo-fi, Super-8 aesthetic to great effect, Starlight intercuts home video footage of weddings and circus performers and skydivers with images of Yamagata, run through a battered film-reel effect, crooning into the camera in front of a brightly-colored carousel. There s a young man of her fancy in the picture as well and if the goal was to compliment Starlight s moody tone with a clown-at-the-state-fair aesthetic, they pull it off like gangbusters. The whole thing implies that love is a game for Yamagata, and like most carnival attractions, this game s fixed.The director: Starlight was directed by Laura Crosta, a veteran of the Microsoft Really? campaign, who gets to show off her artier side here. She s got an impressive portfolio of music-oriented still shots, as well, but it looks like Starlight is among her first forays into music video. Starlight doesn t go for a straight narrative video, which suits the song s scattered, more frantic mood. All of the intercut footage and there s a lot of it, mostly old timey shots of crowds and vintage, circus-themed imagery that complements the scenes of Yamagata at the carnival. Most of those intercut shots are pretty neat, too, with tigers crawling out of cages, fire-breathers and classic airplanes taking off and landing. It doesn t quite tell a story, but it doesn t really need to when it comes to setting a mood that matches Starlight, the video does a hell of a job.
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Singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata will release Chesapeake, her first studio album in 3 years on October 11th, through her own Frankenfish Records. Chesapeake shows a slight departure from her previous darker piano ballad days, taking a brighter an
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