by Dylan Pennell (@dylan_pennell)
Childhood is great. Or maybe it just seems that way. It’s hard to say, I guess. However, it’s easy to understand why so many often try to revisit it as a means of cultivating a better understanding of the present or even as a thoughtless act of nostalgia. Regardless, it’s not easy to revisit those images and feelings without some degree of conflict. After all, could childhood really have been that great? However, what has to be much more complicated than wrestling with our own infantilizations and reckless nostalgia is finding a way to translate not only the wistfulness of childhood but then translate it into poignant and mature art without seeming saccharine.
Well, lo and behold is the new lyric video, “Sleepy Song,” from Ann Arbor’s Johanna Baumann, a carefully calculated effort to invoke the dreaminess of childhood that never falls into the trappings of vapid sentimentality. As the lyrics hit on wispy notes of yearning the caravansary of sepia-toned aquatic images perfectly match the sleepy and curious nature of the music itself. To match the gentle sense of exploration on display are a series of extemporized scribblings which not only detail the lyrics themselves but also a series of coruscations further demonstrating the sense of childlike wonder. Rest assured that Baumann is not content to stagnant wallow in the refuse of dreams, as the images drift away from sea-creatures to a series of underwater explosions, exemplifying the duality of her own nostalgia: both comforting and eerily portentous.
Johanna Baumann's Peach is out February 16th.