In the beginning of the video for My Tree’s “Slogans,” a dichotomy emerges between the stark plane where the duo perform and the vivid brightness and freedom in the world where a sun-clad dancer moves effortlessly without abandon. The push/pull between the environments gets to the heart of the Aimee Mann-tinged psalm, as described by the duo here:
My Tree’s “Slogans” takes a deep look at the oft-repeated trademarks in American culture. From politics to advertising, this rhetoric is problematic in its performative nature, as it creates a popularized narrative that replaces truth. Caroline Davis wrote this song during the most recent unfortunate political regime, reflecting upon slogans that she found repetitive in her life through the years. Mottos such as “melts in your mouth, not in your hands,” and “yes we can,” could replace conscious mindful action with generalized statements aimed at convincing groups of people to consume products and rhetoric. The lyrics place controversial phrases side-by-side, questioning their authority. The music video, shot and partially edited by Nina Ham, features Davis posing as a muddled speaker at an event while imagining a more spacious world of sincerity. She is eventually transported to this realm, where she comes face to face with her more mindful, truthful self, who dances as the free spirit who she wants to become.
Smooth sonic lines glide through the song, Benjamin Jamal Hoffman’s inviting keys augmented by laid-back rhythms and lush guitars while Davis’s voice reaches gently for a place where her words are weightless and potent. My Tree lulls listeners into a near meditative state while lamenting on the situation the world finds itself buckling beneath. There’s something incredibly inviting about a sonic space where sharp inflections are delivered on a soft, gentle palette; it only adds to the track’s ultimate staying power.
My Tree’s new album, Where the Grace Is, comes out tomorrow, July 30th. Check it out:
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