First Watch: DeVotchKa, 'The Man From San Sebastian' : All Songs Considered See the premiere of a beautifully shot and carefully scripted video for a cut from DeVotchKa's latest collection of Eastern European folk and pop songs, 100 Lovers.
NPR logo DeVotchKa, 'The Man From San Sebastian'

DeVotchKa, 'The Man From San Sebastian'

The video for DeVotchKa's "The Man From San Sebastian" includes a thrilling chase scene with the band's members on vintage mopeds. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Back in 2006, when DeVotchKa scored the endearing soundtrack to the film Little Miss Sunshine, the Denver band was just finding an audience for its quirky, bittersweet mix of Eastern European folk music and American pop. In the five years since, the group has gone on world tours and played for tens of thousands of fans in enormous stadiums. This weekend, DeVotchKa will perform at Glastonbury, one of the world's largest music festivals.

Meanwhile, the band is also premiering this new video for "San Sebastian," from its recent album 100 Lovers.

The carefully scripted (and beautifully shot) film was directed by Vincent Comparetto. We asked Comparetto for his thoughts on the project.

"When (DeVotchka percussionist) Shawn (King) approached me about doing a video for DeVotchKa, I was really excited, but also really nervous, because I knew when I heard the song 'The Man From San Sebastian,' I was like, 'How am I going to do this in Denver?' But we wrapped our heads around a couple of concepts, and there were definitely a lot of areas we lined up on. It should be black and white, it should look European, it should look modern. I was very happy to make Denver look very unlike America. It doesn't look like I shot this video anywhere near America.

"They (DeVotchKa) have a very thoroughly established look to them. So I didn't want to divert from that. And I love modern Russian art. I love Constructivism and Suprematism, so I wanted to work some of those ideas into the video. You'll see in a lot of the locations there's diagonals and in a lot of the graphic design there's that repetitive form of a diagonal. That comes directly from Russian design.

"We didn't necessarily get permission from the Colorado film board to shoot any of these locations, so it was really like guerrilla style. So we'd just show up with a lot of gear and start shooting on bike paths and in the middle of the road. It was pretty crazy. But we got really lucky. And thank god Denver is one of those towns where if you wake early enough, you can poach some pretty great locations. Immediately, Shawn was like, 'I want there to be a moped chase scene!' And I thought that was really weird. But it makes so much sense now. It was such a great suggestion. It goes with the song really well and adds this climactic scene to the video."