In this beautifully performed video premiere, Kate Ellis sings about flawed people and flawed relationships and how those connections become an important part of who we are. It’s a song full of absorbing narrative details that sometimes seem weighed with despair. However, there is, ultimately, a sense of acceptance and a desire to move on with the words: “I don’t want to see everything you see // Even though your darkness stays a little piece of me.” There is such power and emotion in familial relationships like those explored in ‘Another Way’ and these leave traces, shadows, a legacy that is passed on and endures. Ellis explains: “It’s the song of a daughter finding forgiveness for her father and understanding the connection between them. It is about realising that someone can only live by what they see as real, and we cannot always see another way to be. Love allows you to accept that person with all their frailties.” That emotion is matched by Ellis’s melodic, weary vocal, which flows above tumbling notes of piano; her voice carries a quiet intimacy and we are drawn into these personal reflections.
The video, directed by Yorgo Lykouria, begins simply, featuring just Kate Ellis and her piano, softly lit in black and white. This starkness seems to match the understated lyrical trauma that drives the tension. As the song builds musically, Ellis’s performance is interspersed with footage – a mixture of old-movie, found and new footage – of people who reflect the characters and their actions that ‘Another Way’ focuses on. It’s cleverly done and the visual adds to this compelling song. Particularly effective, is the sequence towards the end when the video switches between a close-up of an older man wringing his hands and Ellis’s hands delicately keying the piano.
Ellis explains: “We wanted the video to reflect the simplicity and directness of the song and to bring the emotional content of the music onto the screen in an affecting and visual way.” Lykouria adds: “This is about a woman coming to terms with her father’s imperfections; the flaws that created pain in his life, and spilled over to the next generation. The song is played out in the intimate setting of a musician alone in their room. The imagery invades from the past as either ghosts or memories. By the last touch on the keys, they are both healed.”
‘Another Way’ is the first single from Ellis’s forthcoming new album, ‘Spirals’, an introspective collection of timeless songs. Check it out.