Welcome to The Drop, Refinery29's home for exclusive music video premieres. We want to shine the spotlight on women artists whose music inspires, excites, and (literally) moves us. This is where we'll champion their voices.
What's real and what's fake? Lee Ann Womack, the country queen whose most famous song, "I Hope You Dance" still plays at weddings and graduations everywhere you go, was thinking that over one fated day in Palm Springs. And so, drawing on her affection-turned-disillusionment for Hollywood, she wrote a little song about it — and about a relationship turned sour.
In the haunting song, she sings about the emotional distance that develops between two people, suggesting their relationship is no more than a fine acting job that everyone pretends is the real thing.
Refinery29 caught up with Womack in a recent phone chat, where she told us about developing the idea for her unusual new video, making clothes for tiny plastic dolls, and prefering a sad ending.
Refinery29: Tell me about writing this song. What inspired it?
Lee Ann Womack: "I was in California, I'd just done a festival out there, and we were at a house in Palm Springs. Adam Wright picked up the guitar and threw out a couple of those lines. I guess that's the kind of mood we were in. I love that style of music. I grew up in the '70s and Hollywood seemed like a magical place to me when I was a kid."
What did you think when read the treatment for this video? It's really different for you.
"Hollywood is known to be plastic and fake [laughs]. I'd always wanted to do a video like this, and it's great to make a video you don't have to be in because I don't like making them [laughs]. The whole thing was my idea. We found an animation guy to make it happen. I was semi-involved in the process. I made some of the clothes the doll wore — the black dress with puffy sleeves and a pair of shorts with a white t-shirt. I literally was sitting in a hotel room making those little clothes."
In the end, this California girl doll gets away from a bad relationship. How do you feel about that ending that makes us cheer for an inanimate object?
"That ending was all the animator's idea [laughs]. I'm not much of a happy ending person, as far as the things I'm drawn to and like. That was his call, but the song could go either way. They're faking it in the song, so I guess it could go that way. If I hadn't have liked that ending, I would have changed it. I think different people will get different things out of it. We also talked about having her kill him [laughs]. There were a lot of different possible endings. "