Even As We Speak‘s glorious and incandescent album ‘Adelphi’ (released through Shelflife Records) made it to my list of the best albums of 2020 from Australia and New Zealand. It has, to quote myself, a fragile and elegant beauty that is hypnotic and immersive. It therefore comes as an immense honour to premiere a spectacular video for a new single, ‘Child’, off the album – the heart-achingly paean to, as the title suggests, a child. It is a track filled with a deep and profound expression of love: an unadulterated and pure love. And yet there is a poignancy buried with in the melancholy delivery: an acceptance of uncertainty for the future.
There can be no greater tribute to the band than the recreation of them as puppets in a video developed for the track by British puppeteers Planet Puppets. The puppets capture the grace and elegance of the band members with a sense of poignancy and tragicomedy all mixed together. Planet Puppets and director Infinity Alexander (also a member of Planet Puppets) came up with the idea for this video, and the decision to release ‘Child’ as a single was the inevitable and welcomed response. Singer Mary Wyer explains in more detail:
…the video came about because Tonie from Planet Puppets contacted me just to say hi and that he loved Even As We Speak. He said he was a puppeteer and that one of his puppets looked like me. Then he changed the name of the puppet to Mary. So I said ‘you should make us a video clip’ – so he said OK and asked Infinity Alexander, and then all of a sudden they made it!
As a feature character, Wyer’s puppet portrayal acknowledges her love of acrobatics and the attendant sense of theatricality in her dress and make-up as she engages with her growing child – from birth to leaving home. The final moments as the child grows up into its own form and personality and walks away, leaving a few seconds of Wyer’s character sitting there alone, is so moving and affecting, and says so much more than words could express. Planet Puppets have magnificently managed to capture everything about the song and the band, and it is hard to believe how much humanity shines through these creations.
The spoken word prelude to the video is a fifties style public broadcast about child psychology and respect for a growing child as an individual: and this sets the scene for the dual messaging in the beautiful lyrics. The heavy burden of protection a mother wants to give her child from the ills of the world is addressed with clarity and poignancy, and yet this is tempered by an awareness of the lack of control anyone has over the future. Human frailty and vulnerability to the powerful forces of love and death, so exquisitely captured in sound and vision:
Your quiet breath –
The world can take a rest.
In my arms –
The world can do no harm.
I’ll keep you safe,
Whenever you may sleep,
And I’ll make promises
That I’ll never keep.
The gorgeous vocals float over a gentle sweep of jangling, chiming guitars and the melodies are celestial. This is a song that creates goosebumps, chills, a tightening of the throat, a dampness in the eye. The video simply serves to amplifies these emotions in such a delicate and sensitive way. Utterly beautiful and emotional artistry from the band, the puppeteers and the director of the video:
The exquisite ‘Child’ is available now and can be streamed here or through the link below:
‘Adelphi’, an essential album for any lover of good music, is of course still available – see link below:
Feature Photograph: Joshua Morris