Hello June have just dropped a brand new music video for their awesome single "Handshakes"! They were gracious enough to give us early access to this fantastic piece. The video is moving in its use of color, light, and stop motion. Check it out here! We also had the opportunity to interview Hello June about the video and the track, check out what they had to say below!
1. Can you speak to the writing process of "Handshakes" and the inspiration behind the song?
"I started writing “Handshakes” some years ago when I was living in Baltimore. I started writing the guitar piece you hear throughout the verses, but frustratingly couldn’t get much further. What I was creating felt like something deeper to me, like the notes were coming out as a tangible form of something I’d been trying to process. When I moved back to West Virginia, I brought the idea to some friends and was able to work a little more towards finding the feel I wanted to encapsulate and bottle up. It took years to form the song that you hear on this record."
2. The video is beautifully done, can you give us some background on the production and post production process of this fantastic piece?
"We stuck with what has become our general working arrangement for videos, where we plan out the design together, and then I get in front of the camera while Whit shoots. This one was particularly fun for us because this was the first "set" we've built - we got a bunch of sky-and-clouds wallpaper (plus some green for grass) and converted a room in our house to this strange papery outdoors scene. For post production, I did the majority of the editing, but Whit would jump in and spell me on occasion when I would start to lose my mind."
3. Lighting and the use of lights seemed to play a significant role in the video, can you tell us a little about that?
"We definitely saw light as being an important way for the video to relate thematically to the dreamlike quality of the song, where this visual narrative is cohesive, but still vividly punctuated. We worked hard to get evocative shots with just the two of us and basically no resources or equipment to speak of. There are different sources of light - sun, moon, flashlight, lamps, color-changing LED, fire, Christmas lights - seen through several different perspectives. There's very little post-production work in terms of lighting effects - we wanted the effect of the lighting to be a natural, captured part of every frame."
4. The video had a tight central theme playing throughout with the use of lights, prominent color, stop motion, layering of images. What role did the band play creatively in the artistic direction of the video?
"I wanted to make much of the video take place in a closed-in simulacrum of an outdoor scene. Working with such a small space presented a challenge because the song gains a kind of momentum and we wanted to respond to visually while also keeping a sense of confinement. We wanted the walls closing in over to be foreboding, stormy, isolated - the song is visually evocative to us, so it gave us good direction for how things should be flowing."
5. What did you take away from the process of making this video?
"Things will always go wrong, I will adapt, and the product will be weirder/cooler/more creative than my original intention. The artist in me asserts the need for the freedom to “go” with a mistake - similarly, the scientist in me leaves room for any serendipitous finding that would lead to some novel thing or finding. To me, art is never about perfection, it’s simply about capturing what I intend to capture and working towards bottling that up correctly."
6. What's next for Hello June?
"We're really pleased with our last album, and happy that "Handshakes" is getting its moment, but we feel very motivated and excited to get some new music out into the world, so we're pretty knee-deep into writing and finding a new batch of feels. That's in between shows, of course - we're staying busy this year and always trying to push outward from West Virginia and see new places and new people."