‘Bear’ by The Antlers

In my favorite albums of last year I think I was pretty clear that Hospice by The Antlers was hands down my favorite. So it’s kind of funny that there’s just now a brand new video out for one of my favorites off of the album, Bear. I’m pretty sure the song is about a young couple who end up getting pregnant and then choose to abort the baby. But I think they make the choice because they’re so old, or as he repeats in the song over and over, “Just too old… we’re not old at all…”

I’m not quite sure what the video has to do with the song at all, but it’s certainly beautiful. It was directed by Evan Owen Dennis and was shot by Aaron Phillips, who I think did a great job. LIke the video in the previous post, there’s a lot of contrast and very desaturated colors which really give the video an old, somber kind of feeling. Is the ball meant to represent the baby? I honestly have no idea what any of this means but if you do please share it in the comments.

Bobby

8 Comments ‘Bear’ by The Antlers

  1. mistergrieves February 19, 2010 at 1:18 AM

    Yea, the ball is the baby right? I thought so, and it seems like more his decision then hers and maybe there is some resentment because she has to carry the burden of this, so there is also kind of that decisive moment in the album, when it has to end. And then the beginning with the friends breaking the chains, it seems like they are freeing him, but they just kind of stand by and watch it all happen. Some sort of tragedy they can’t prevent.

    That’s probably not what it’s about, but that’s what I took from it. Thanks for introducing me to the album by the way. I have been hooked.

  2. fede February 19, 2010 at 7:46 AM

    Hospice is also one of my favourites of last year, and Bear is also definitely one of the most powerful songs on the album. I saw the video a week ago and I just couldn’t link the song to the images, even though I found both beautiful (and even though I watched it many times over), I just didn’t get it, but your interpretation seems very logical. Thanks for putting it all together for me.

  3. jonathna February 19, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    Father, Son, Holy Ghost put the load back on Fanny.
    It’s her cross to bear, dressed in black, en route to the place of the Skull.
    It’s ironic how in a place of death, she is bound to give birth.

  4. Jill February 19, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    Agree! It’s a favorite. I’ve enjoyed your mixtapes. Keep it up.

  5. ktinka February 22, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    This is my favourite song at the moment. Thanks for tipping me off on that wonderful video. I posted it on my blog as well and got this really sweet mail from my Mom who told me that watching it almost made her cry… can’t blame her.

  6. Baxter February 22, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    I’m pretty sure the video is alluding to the story of Sisyphus. Holme-boy that was forced to roll a boulder up a hill, and right at the precipice the stone would tumble to the ground forcing him to complete the daunting task again. There are a couple of clues I found;

    1) the chains that the friends break at the start of the video. Sisyphus tricks Thanatos into wearing chains meant for himself. The guy secured isn’t the one that ultimately helps the woman get the black ball back in her cart, it’s one of his friends. Something to do with “friends dodging calls” and “no one ever has to know.” Chaining friends by deceiving them, I think.

    2) The drawing one guy does when sitting in the forest is probably Sisyphus grasping the boulder and his wife flinging his body, as was told in the story.

    3) The woman is trying to roll the “big black ball” up a hill and as soon as she’s almost up the cart gets away from her. Even when the men help her get the ball back in her cart, she trudges up the hill again. The video ends, but you can still see the strength she’s trying to muster, the task is still daunting.

    …all that wordiness aside, I’m not sure if the big black ball is the baby or not. I think it might be a representation of trying to get over the pain of abortion. There’s lyrics in the song that are something like, “when we get back we’re like strangers” which is in opposition to the flightiness of “drinking champagne even though you’re not supposed to.” It implies they thought having the abortion would be no big deal, but she’s now up against this Sisyphean task of trying to get over the ordeal, while he looks on.

  7. Alex February 24, 2010 at 5:29 AM

    I saw that hospice was at the top of your list for best albums of the year, and was so excited to see that the antlers were opening up for the editors when i went and saw them last week in Toronto. First time i had really listened to them, so sooo pleased, went home and ordered their album right away

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