So, you're an indie folk band with throwback appeal and enough beard among you to thatch a small roof. A roof that you will use to shelter you from the world's downpours while you cry in earnest beneath. You're an indie band with beards and music, and you're making a music video. You're Mumford and Sons, say, and making the greatest music video ever. What are the key ingredients?
... Look, before we start, we're a little disappointed that you're not filming this music video on actual film, but okay, you can add an Earlybird filter later on and it will still look olde timey. In fact, if you were really serious about looking like a band of authentic vagabond cobblers, your music video would be a silent film anyway, so.
A field: Pastures have been a crucial element in music videos since the time of John Donne. What should you do in this meadow? Just have your roadies unload and tune your upright piano, and we promise you will know what to do. Most likely, you're going to just start playing, even though outdoor meadow acoustics are uniformly bad, and the grass keeps getting in the way of your foot pedals.
A journey: Perhaps you only just unloaded your instruments from the 18-wheeler you used to transport your kit, production crew, lighting rigs and cameras, but for now you are on another journey, headed back toward the camera. As you walk down the dusty road, singing plaintively, you begin to be overwhelmed by emotion. Your bandmates sing beside you, toting instruments like a lifetime's baggage, and you are glad that this olde timey road is wide enough for the four of you and all of your feels.
Your grandma's sunglasses: Here you are, the onscreen talent, walking down the road, singing, playing one of the three instruments dangling from your neck, looking sartorially coordinated in your choice of brown three-piece suits and suspenders, but who, pray, is the lead singer? Why the fellow with the tortoiseshell and gold lady glasses! There he is in his distinctive lady glasses alongside his "sons," a young, minstrel father who happens to be married to Daisy Buchanan.
Firefly lights in a barn: Now you are in a barn! Your music video is a tale of mice and men, but mostly bearded men. You are tromping the boards of a barn because your journey from the 18-wheeler down the just-wide-enough road has led you directly into a John Steinbeck book. You are more emotional than ever. Now you are cutting onions as your banjos and mandolins and lutes clang around you and the emotional truth of your song comes throttling back at you like a boomerang, if they had had those in America in 1929. You are also rocking out very hard, hence the lightshow, but a lightshow that still looks Steinbecky, not U2-y.
Indiscriminate period detail: Behold your skinny satin tie and dusty hobo pants! Behold the large wooden double bass that is both your burden and salvation in this hardship Depression-era life. Here you sit propping the double bass while your bandmate sings into a 1950s-style rockabilly microphone, gyrating his hips in a way that man had not yet discovered pre-World War II. Damn his cool microphone: Throw away your double bass and begin strumming a fusball table.
A one man band: Man is not an island, but he is occasionally a one-man band, demonstrating the self-sufficiency of someone who can strum a guitar, blow a harmonica and kick backward at his drum all at the same time, creating a symphony of human expression.
A rowboat: Have you ever been set adrift? Have you ever been set adrift with three of your closest friends and their oversized acoustic instruments? Because you really have to be careful about sitting the boat, especially when someone is going hog-wild on a piano accordion. Careful, boys.
Sexy banjo dancing with straw boaters: Well, why not, we suppose.
Ed Helms, Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman and Will Forte: Only if you can get them. <3 Jason Batemannnnnn.
Instrument smashing: THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH MINUTES IN A MUSIC VIDEO FOR ALL THE CRYING AND PLAINTIVE WALKING/SINGING, GAAAAH!
There you have it, Sparklers, Mumford and Sons barn dancing is the new redwood Game of Thrones wedding of sumptuousness. How on earth are we going to Pinterest all these details?
What do you think of Mumford and Sons' new music video?