Earlier this year, Eleanor Friedberger released her third solo record, New View. The 11-song full-length helped maintain the artist’s status as superlative songwriter, garnering near-universal acclaim for her poignant compositions and unflappable album presence. Poignance wasn’t the sole intent for the LP, though. “I hope that this album just sounds like an adult woman who’s OK, as boring as that sounds!” the Fiery Furnaces frontwoman told The Guardian. “I don’t want to sound like I’m miserable, [like] I’m angry, I’m hurt.” And indeed, New View channels something much subtler than arrant misery.
Today Nerdist is premiering the music video for “Does Turquoise Work?,” the record’s penultimate track. The sketchbook-like video was created using over 1,000 handmade drawings (!) by Friedberger’s bassist Jonathan Rosen. Atop a black background, Rosen’s crayon-like sketches spring to life in surrealistic contours (drawn in radiant turquoise, of course), adding an illusory veneer to the song’s narrative.
The track lulls at the outset, fragile and bare, and its warbling pads match the clip’s quaking sketches. Friedberger’s voice soon emerges to become the backbone of the piece, providing a steadiness to the accompaniment. After a wistful interlude that has us spinning around a highway-bound car, Friedberger guides the song to a triumphant climax of barely contained catharsis.
Does turquoise work? Friedberger leaves us with a resolute answer: Yes, it does. And in the Rosen-sketched video, it does so beautifully.
The video’s arrival coincides with the beginning of the second leg of Friedberger’s US tour, which begins tonight at Washington D.C.’s U Street Music Hall.