NPR logo First Watch: Maps & Atlases, 'Fever'

Just In

First Watch: Maps & Atlases, 'Fever'

The deeply disturbed character who appears in the latest Maps & Atlases video, for the song "Fever," may not live to see tomorrow. As the Chicago-based band sings about holding on in our darkest hours, "The Man" slowly wastes away, addicted to a mysterious drug.

Maps & Atlases guitarist Erin Elders, who directed the video, tells us in an email that "The Man" is an imagined character the band first introduced in a promo video for the group's latest album Beware And Be Grateful. "The Man has become a nomad, wandering in and out of the city's frayed pockets. He self-medicates his mysterious affliction while wasting time in train yards and burned-out parking lots. Ultimately he finds it's the small, human interactions that cure him."

Elders says the band had a much larger production in mind when they began working on the video, one that involved "a roller-skating rink and a small army of extras." But the group scrapped it because of a lack of resources. "At first, I viewed this as our project falling apart," Elders says. "But really it was helping us focus on what the video was about. Having no budget and a barebones crew made us tell our story with very little. We had to whittle it down to its most simple. Reality was doing us a favor; after all, the video was about the importance of the human connections we make. You don't need a crane shot over a sea of extras to convey that."



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.