First Watch: Van William Feat. First Aid Kit, 'Revolution' Van William's song preaches personal, not political, revolution — but these days, the lines can get blurry fast.
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First Watch: Van William Feat. First Aid Kit, 'Revolution'

So many songs have taken on new meaning over the past nine months or so. Ask Van William about his song "Revolution" and he'll tell you that it "started as a song about the anxieties of being in a relationship, where both people want to fix its broken parts, but disagree on the means," but "became something else during and after the 2016 election."

However, that original inspiration was the video's guiding force, Van William told me. "Something simple and stark that followed a linear progression into the madness found in the waning days of a romantic relationship. I wanted the video to show the claustrophobic feeling that can form by sharing too much of each other's lives and being unable to repair the damage from inside the walls of what was built together." It's an idea, he says, that came while binge-watching Ingmar Bergman films.

Director Grant James wrote to tell me that "'Revolution' is an emotional performance delivered by Van, as well as First Aid Kit's Klara and Johanna Söderberg, within the confines of a black void. The focus was to compose moving portraits of the artists that express the meaning behind the lyrics of the song as the musicians go through an emotional journey individually and together. The result delivers a variety of raw and striking imagery that balances the fine line between high-fashion cinematography and keeping our subjects grounded in their own natural aesthetic and realism."

When Van William was listening to a version of his song in the studio, it was clear to him that he wanted the duo First Aid Kit to add their sibling voices to his song. "We have all known each other for almost ten years, when they opened for my old band Port O'Brien on a European tour. Life and the Atlantic Ocean separated us from continuing a real friendship for many years, but we reconnected at a mutual friend's house party in L.A. early last year. We rekindled our connection into one of the most important friendships I've ever had, and tracked this together before they went back to Stockholm. When the three of us are together, it feels like family in the best possible way."

The Revolution EP is the solo debut for Van William having been in previous bands WATERS and Port O'Brien. That EP will be out in September with a full length in 2018.

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