Though clowns are the source of laughs for some and nightmares for others, for Clare Muldaur Manchon, the front-women of husband-wife duo Clare and the Reasons, they became a source of inspiration.
After reading an article in The New York Times called "A Young Clown Follows in a Father's Giant Footsteps," Clare wrote the luminous yet sad, "Make Them Laugh."
The music video for this song, premiering here, features the band as circus performers subject to the desires of their twisted ringleader. This wicked bearded man strings the performers in the air, using their perfectly painted faces as targets in a whack-a-mole game.
The stylish black-and-white video, swirling orchestration and poignant lyrics carry the viewer throughout this bittersweet circus tale, inspired by the NYTimes article. Clare sings, "They left the show to raise you/But it's all you want/And it's all you know." Each verse is punctuated with her anxious, breathy laugh.
Clare and the Reasons recorded the song in Berlin along with the rest of their upcoming album, KR-51. The album title is drawn from the model of moped the band rode through Berlin while writing and recording the album.
They shot the video after returning home to Brooklyn. In an email, Clare writes,
The "bearded lady" in the video is our dear young friend Jack Pearce. When he showed up to the shoot to be an extra, the director, Ryan Foregger said, "Clare, can we please make him a bearded lady, just look how perfect that beard is, it's text book!" So I slinked over to Jack and bashfully asked him. He looked at me with kind eyes and said, "Ok, but I sure hope this video doesn't go viral."
Clare and the Reasons' third album, KR-51, will be released on July 10th. The band is performing this Friday at Bonnaroo.