Music

Elli Perry Takes Us For a Stroll in "Without You" (premiere)

Photo: Kendra Nicole Petersen

In her new music video, Elli Perry celebrates the joys of her creative community in Colorado with a colorful strut down the streets of town.

After a 30-state, nine-month tour following the release of her previous full-length album, Elli Perry and her husband decided to sew their roots between Texas and Colorado. In the winter months, Perry would live and volunteer across the border of Mexico in Texas' Big Bend. During the remaining seasons, the singer-songwriter and her spouse would live out their Colorado days on a small farm. "Without You" is a track from off of Perry's latest EP, Totality, which, in part, celebrates community and rising together among friends. While Perry's riffs from off of a blues-driven rhythm beside her powerful vocals are a potent combination by any means, it's in that joyous proclamation that the song soars, particularly in its associated music video.

Perry tells PopMatters, "I passed through Fort Collins, Colorado in the spring of 2017 while touring in support of a record I had just released called Little Thieves. At the time, I didn't know a soul in town and was already itching to begin writing and recording another album. That stop on the tour changed my life by connecting me to a community of vibrant artists and creators, who would not only go on to help me make my next record and this video, but who would become some of my closest friends."

"A couple folks I met during that first trip [Matthew Wilburn Skinner, who engineered Totality, and Mark 'Rooster' Austin, who played harmonica on the record and in the video] invited me back later in the year, and offered to help me record some new material. While we were tracking 'Without You' inside a blanket fort in their living room, I had the idea for this video. I could see the whole thing fully formed in my mind—me walking alone, completely unfazed as this strange group of characters gathered around and started dancing; a party in the street that I wasn't really a part of, because 'there's nothing in this world for me' except for who and what I'm singing about."

"After we finished recording, my husband and I were so impacted by the creative community we had just stumbled into, that we decided to take a chance and plant some roots in Fort Collins—literally and metaphorically. We moved onto a small farm and founded an artist collective called Native Stranger Artist Worker Collective, that aimed to promote collaboration with artists of different mediums throughout the community. Eventually I realized that I had actually come to know all the wacky characters I'd imagined making that video with, and I reached out to my friend Eric Smith to help me film it. [As an aside, it's worth mentioning that this is Eric's first music video, and that he knocked it out of the park.]"

"This isn't just a quirky, well-cast video of random weirdos; every single character in it is either a creative collaborator, a fellow farmer, or one of our neighbors. They are some of our nearest and dearest, the people who we work and grow and create alongside every day. Eric's wife and young son are in the video. I even milk the goat for her owner—the dashing fellow in the gold banana hammock—when he's out of town. This has ended up becoming my favorite music video I've ever filmed. It's a snapshot of our lives right now—the friends we call family, and the community that has helped to make our art possible."

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