When bassist and singer Lou Barlow first formed Sebadoh in 1986, he was an early-twentysomething who wrote sublime, brooding songs about youthful angst and heartache. Now in his late 40s, Barlow writes songs under the Sebadoh moniker that are no less introspective. But he's more agitated and inspired by the trappings of adulthood, from the pressures he feels to make money to life lessons he should have learned by now, to how best to care for his children. It's a tangled battle of inner voices captured in a new video for the Sebadoh song "State of Mine."
"Failure is a state of mine," Barlow sings, with a playful twist on an old adage, as paper cutouts of robotic, black-tied men march across the screen. "The song details my inner dialogue while dropping off and picking up my second-grader from school," Barlow tells us via email. "I originally titled it 'Calves of Champions' (and should have kept it, a much better title). The calves belonged to the particularly fit, successful and socially adept fellow father I was comparing myself unfavorably to. The gist of the song is that I am realizing how bulls— my inner dialogue is, and how I need to teach my children to be proud of themselves."
The animation was created digitally by director Geoff Hoskinson. "The main idea for the video was to visualize the archetypal family man in a disjointed reality," Hoskinson writes. "I wanted to juxtapose images of the archetype with images of various landscapes to play off of the lyrical pun of being in different 'states.' A lot of the images are visual metaphors that are inspired by the lyrics."