Dark humor pervades Birdtalker’s new music video. Directed by Jason Hassell, the clip features the rest of the band as clowns haunting Zack Green throughout the mundane day-to-day. It all feeds into a metaphor for acceptance, and it’s a whole lot of fun to boot. The tune is another taste of the adventurous indie folksters’ new self-titled album (8 October, AntiFragile). Its rambunctious energy reflects the band as a whole, with melodies as driving and persistent as its aforementioned clowns.
Birdtalker tells PopMatters, “‘Old Sob Story’ is about not getting stuck in dark emotional patterns, so our cinematographer Jason Hassell had the idea to personify the dark emotions as sad clowns. The sad clowns follow Zack through his mundane day and pop up with every minor bummer, mocking him and attempting to exacerbate his frustration. Zack resists their presence, and his frustration grows. The video ends with Zack fighting against his emotions but eventually letting them win, symbolizing that he’s accepted them and so is free. The shoot day was lots of fun; we painted each other’s faces, got dolled up in our Goodwill clown garb, and got to run through the laundromat and push each other around in the water. We love how it turned out: a bit dark and a bit silly. Just like us.”
“Lyrically, it’s got a ‘fuck this I’m tired of myself’ vibe, just done with the old and ready for the new. It feels like an echo of ‘Heavy’, but instead of being sensitive and melodramatic, we’re very open-handed and unabashed, almost silly. It’s about getting out of the head and into the body and a deeper sense of knowing.”