[video of the week] Elena Setién – In This Short Life

Elena Setién has shared the new video for single “In This Short Life,” taken from her forthcoming new album Unfamiliar Minds, out January 28th, 2022 via Thrill Jockey.

The song’s lyrics are taken from Emily Dickinson’s poem of the same name and the video extends the song’s exploration of Dickinson’s plainspoken yet profound contemplation on the brevity of life and what we do with our time here. Following Setién on a walk through a mountain cemetery near her home in Spain, and intercut with footage and photographs of loved ones, the video ruminates on questions of a life lived and how we each choose to spend our short time alive.

On the video, Setién says: “We were thinking of keeping Emily’s words as the central point of the whole video: life and death and how little we can do about it all. We chose an old cemetery, “The Cemetery of the English” in San Sebastián. Back in the 1830s there was the First Carlist War in Spain, and some soldiers from the British Legion lost their lives fighting a war which wasn’t even theirs. And there they’re buried, at Mount Urgull.”

Setién is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, collaborator and improviser, having worked with artists like Mary Lattimore and Steve Gunn as well as composing for film and television. Her music illuminates the fragilities and ephemeral nature of life with exceptional poise, Setién’s chameleonic songcraft effortlessly bending songs into immersive realms. Unfamiliar Minds is a palatial guide through trial and exaltation, a meditation on disquiet and hope for uncovering what lies ahead.




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