Visually and sonically this is like something from a dream; it’s entrancing and hypnotic. ‘September’ is the latest video from the recent self-titled album by Lanue. The found-footage used in the video is put together in a series of overlaps and contrasts, nostalgic but not comfortable, with images of fire interspersed with flowers and groups of people conforming disturbingly. It fits perfectly with music that takes unexpected turns but retains its beauty.
Sarah Krueger, the singer behind Lanue, says of the song and video: “This song has a tension and discord to it that I wanted to pull out by using three unrelated film texts in the video that come together to create something new in an interesting and almost dissonant way. I like the idea of using archived film footage from the public domain and combining it with modern footage to bring new meaning to it. This video was created using old found footage from the public domain combined with footage I took this fall in Duluth, MN. They came together in almost a strange and beautiful way and I really enjoyed exploring how to represent this song visually using the tools I had at hand. The imagery of the wildfire footage combined with the flowers in bloom work in stark contrast to each other and play off the eerily robotic school children footage. The juxtaposition is used to draw out the themes of contrasting dualities within the song itself. I chose the school children footage to work with because I think it echoes the sentiment of this repetitive day to day grind in conjunction with the unfolding of the natural world around us. I edited the entire thing in an app on my iphone and I wanted to make something new out of something old. Duluth, as a city, kind of feels like it rides the rails on that same sentiment – making something new out of something old, and that’s why I chose to film the shots of myself in the old canal with the ship passing through and on park point, which is a constant backdrop in my life.”
It’s an intriguing song that bears repeated listening, each time revealing new musical layers. In particular, the pedal steel guitar from Ben Lester (Sufjan Stevens) bends and sways, rises and falls, complementing Krueger’s ethereal vocal. She continues: “This ultimately is a song about forgiveness and learning how to not think in absolutes, to celebrate and connect with the nuances behind each person and each unique situation. The lyrics “call off your burdens, won’t you give me a little grace?”, that line comes from a place of asking someone to see you as a human who makes mistakes and who has faults amongst all the redeeming qualities you might have, to not be burdened by it all and to find solace in these nuanced and deeply human joys and sorrows we all bring to the table.”
Sarah Krueger surrounded herself with an outstanding cast of musicians to create and record music under the new name, Lanue. The name is taken from the title of a startling poem, ‘La Nue’, by Alan Seeger, the Harvard graduate war poet, who died in battle in1916. His graceful lyricism has found a spiritual home in this music. The original poem begins: “Oft when sweet music undulated round, // Like the full moon out of a perfumed sea // Thine image from the waves of blissful sound // Rose and thy sudden light illumined me.” It’s fitting that the warmth of his words has inspired such a lush song.
With all the cancelled shows and staying home during the pandemic, Lanue has been developing new material and we can expect more releases in 2021. Keep a look out for more enchanting tunes from the Minnesota singer-songwriter.