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Behind Shelby Earl's surprising "Swift Arrows" music video

Seattle singer-songwriter and rising star Shelby Earl will be hitting up Sam Bond’s Sunday night, Aug.17 (see “Burn Boats, Not Bridges” in the Aug. 14 issue of Eugene Weekly). While catching up with Earl over the phone last week, I had to ask her about the music video (posted below) for her hit song “Swift Arrows,” a video that is at once a hilarious, heartbreaking and disturbing David Lynchian vignette of a couple’s anniversary gone awry.

“Essentially, it is in no way autobiographical,” Earl says, laughing. “The guy who directed it, Neil Ferron — we were sitting drinking wine one night coming up with ideas. And he’s a weirdo. He’s kind of a weird genius.”

Earl and Ferron, a Seattle-based writer and filmmaker, discussed the goal of music videos. “Why make a music video unless it’s going to be really interesting and have depth.”

Ferron pitched the anniversary idea to Earl.

“It struck this chord with me. It made me feel the way the song makes me feel. It’s an outrageous thing,” Earl says. “The storyline is absurd. The song came from a life that’s absurd — a stranger-than-fiction type thing.”

 Earl says that all the actors are professional Seattle theatre people. Amy Thone, an actor and casting director for the Seattle Shakespeare Company, plays the lead and steals the show. Peter Crook’s shit-eating grin as the adulterous husband also deserves a nod.

“I was on set for all the filming. I just started to bawl,” Earl says of Thone’s performance. “She gets it.”


Photo by Francisco Macias