Video Premiere: Seán R. McLaughlin & The Wind-Up Crows “Hairband”

Photo credit: G. Mackenzie

Here’s the gorgeous new single from Seán R. McLaughlin & The Wind-Up Crows.  ‘Hairband’ is a song of memory, of longing and belonging, and its musical journey through remembered narrative and emotion is striking and tuneful.  It explores the space between wakefulness and sleeping, a space in which our thoughts and feelings are uncontrolled and free to wander.

Indian violinist Ragini Shankar contributed to the song with a marvellous melody that simply feels like a deep well of memory.  Her playing is sublime and beautiful, perfectly suited to the song’s style and themes.  Seán describes her playing as: “…absolutely breath-taking. The first time I heard Ragini’s playing on this track, I was welling up. It’s so amazing to have songs that don’t feel completely mine, in that sense I can enjoy them as a listener… particularly the beautiful improvised outro…”

The video was created by Liam J. McLaughlin, Seán’s brother and an award-winning visual artist.  The blend of old family footage, expansive fields and trees silhouetted in front of a darkened sky add to the atmosphere of the song and the sense of times past and remembered.  Liam says of the powerful visual: “For the ‘Hairband’ video I was thinking a lot about ideas of family, memory and home. Having recently emigrated to America, ideas of how our personal histories impact the way we engage with new environments and cultures has been on my mind a fair amount. The footage used is of where I live now (the rural midwest) combined with family footage from Scotland. For me, as an artist, it’s important to try to understand my own culture and heritage but perhaps more important is to try to understand that in relation to other people’s culture.  I didn’t set out to make a video about the lyrics, but let them and the music focus my thinking. The fact that it is a video for a song that appears to be about family, albeit from a different viewpoint than mine, and the fact that it’s my brother’s song obviously had an impact on what the video became.”

The single is taken from the album ‘Goodnight Lad’, which has just been released.  The understated beauty of ‘Hairband’ is a great introduction to the record – now go out and explore the rest.

About Andrew Frolish 1441 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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