A river is life. It is power. And sometimes it rages. In Esmé Patterson's new video for her breezy pop anthem "No River," it's an unstoppable force, and something she knows she'll never be. "I can't keep running," she sings. "I'm no river ... I'm human." It's a hymn to the fragile and endlessly flawed human condition.
As the gorgeously shot video opens, Patterson is tethered to a heavy rope and hauled from a placid river blanketed in fog. She's then joined by a group of other women in a field of flowers; there, they dance together to the rhythms of their own hearts.
"It's about the freedom that we can find when we surrender to the realization that we are mortal," Patterson tells NPR Music via email. "By understanding that we are dying, we also understand that we are alive in this very moment. I wanted to represent these themes visually in the music video: the strength and vulnerability of the body, the circadian rhythm of life, the dance with nature, life as a dance."
"No River" is from Esmé Patterson's new album, We Were Wild, out now on Grand Jury Music. The video was directed by David Fishel and choreographed by Carlye Eckert.