First Watch: Kat Edmonson, 'I Don't Know' : All Songs Considered A new video contrasts Edmonson's beautiful love song with dark, obsessive imagery.
NPR logo First Watch: Kat Edmonson, 'I Don't Know'

First Watch: Kat Edmonson, 'I Don't Know'

Kat Edmonson has been on our radar for a while now. In 2009, after the election of President Barack Obama, we put out a call out to our listeners to try and capture the pulse of the culture. She turned in an ambitious tune and video called "Be the Change." That same year, she had the temerity to tackle a version of George Gershwin's "Summertime," and we put that on Second Stage the moment we heard it. This week she's on All Things Considered, talking about her new music, which isn't so far from someone like Cole Porter.

Here's a bonus: we've got a brand new video from Kat Edmonson, perhaps more short film than music video. Edmonson, who collaborated on the concept with director Ethan Segal and co-director Jason Jones, wrote in to tell us about the making of the film:

"I love this very dark film playing over a seemingly contradictory and extremely beautiful love song. Makes it all the more grabbing. The thing is, I intended for this song to sound dark. I recorded "I Don't Know" from the stand point of someone that loves someone else so deeply that they seriously don't know how they would live without this person. I approached it as a person mourning their lover even before they are gone. The words lent themselves to that. And the character in this film basically eternalizes her lover by doing away with him. She can't live with him but she can't live without him. That's on a whole 'nother level! I may have just made it very hard for myself to get a date in the future."

Co-director Jason Jones says the shoot ran into some complications:

"For this video, we knew that we needed a night time burial scene. The thought of digging a desolate grave at dusk is scary enough, we ran into an extra element of fear when scouting the location. As we drove toward the top of the mountain we were staying on, we noticed an ideal-looking forest for the scene — what we did not notice were the no trespassing signs posted around us. Just before we pulled over to dig our grave, we were forced off the road by an enormous truck. A very large and very upset man approached us. We decided to play dumb, insisted that we were simply sight seeing around the mountain. Thankfully, he let us go.
"Luckily, he saw us during daylight and not at 2:30 in the morning with Kat throwing dirt on a body. I don't want to think about what of [would have happened] then.

"Besides our scary run-in with the locals, the video just felt like it wanted to make itself. Kat was so amazing and the location gave us so many interesting shots that it made our job super easy."

Kat Edmonson's new album, Way Down Low, is out now.