Turn off the lights, and surrender to the pervasive melancholy of Lily Kershaw’s latest song, “Another.” Kershaw, a Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter, repeats the haunting, ethereal refrain, “Your lover’s gonna leave you,” almost matter-of-factly, without much surprise. By this point, the wrenching event is a fact. Her lover has left, and she’s numb.
The lyrics in “Another” were a response to heartbreak in Kershaw’s life. In her first recording session since the incident, the only line that came to Kershaw was, “Your lover’s gonna leave you,” which she sang over and over. “Even though it hurt to acknowledge for myself, there was also power in it. I think that in the acceptance there can be a kind of surrender, and there’s power in that,” Kershaw told Refinery29.
Ironically, the story behind the stop-motion music video for this heartbreaking song is anything but melancholy. The creation of “Another” is a story of support, friendship, and artistic collaboration. “Those two weeks of my life [making the video] were strangely my happiest,” Kershaw said.
A large part of Kershaw's positive experience comes down to the video's director: Actor, comedian, and director Noël Wells, who also happens to be Kershaw’s good friend. Last year, Wells made her directorial debut with the movie Mr. Roosevelt.
“I was actually having fun making this video and I think it’s a testament to Noël as a director and her ability to execute a vision. When you’re working with someone who’s fully capable of holding a vision and executing it, you feel safe,” Kershaw said.
When Kershaw initially approached Wells to direct a music video, Wells immediately identified her vision. Wells, who had studied stop motion in college, wanted the music video to incorporate paper cutouts. The only problem? “It was going to be really, really hard,” Wells said.
“We gave ourselves a week to isolate the footage that we wanted to cut out and reanimate. It ended up taking two weeks. We put in at least 120 hours, about eight hours a day. It was like a little factory,” Kershaw said. Kershaw set up camp in her living room in Los Angeles, complete with bottomless coffee and pizza, and a high-tech printer. Wells and Kershaws’ friends drifted in and out, putting in cutting shifts that sometimes lasted until four in the morning.
“We cut out 4,000 pieces of paper, and some are pretty detailed. People were cutting out 300 pieces of paper for one little animated section,” Wells said.
In addition to creating the video's paper components, Wells and Kershaw’s friends also appeared in the music video. “We told them to dress how they wanted to dress, and weirdly it all matched magically,” Kershaw said. The women are all in clothes that incorporate animal patterns; the men all in red. The coincidence is proof, perhaps, of the synchronicity behind the music video’s creation
The video's paper cutouts currently live in a box in Kershaw’s bedroom, a reminder of those two happy weeks of artistic partnership. “We’ve been sad ever since,” Wells joked. Kershaw and Wells certainly plan on working together in the future. “We want to make more music, and play more shows. We want to keep growing a group of artist friends in Los Angeles. We want to just get everyone together and make things,” Wells continued.
If you're obsessed with Kershaw's sound after listening to "Another," catch Kershaw’s upcoming EP, Lost Angeles, when it's released on June 1.