Casey Neill & The Norway Rats: 'Hollow Bones' [Video Premiere]

Vortex Music Magazine

'Turn up the sadness' with a new video from Neill's 2013 record and then catch him and his Rats headlining the Doug Fir on May 23. Lead photo by David Belisle

Folk-punk singer-songwriter Casey Neill may have released his last record in late 2013, but he’s just now unveiling the video for the first song from All You Pretty Vandals. Produced by Chris Funk (of The Decemberists and Black Prairie), Neill says Funk “likes records he works on to start with a slower song. I don't remember how the amp reverb crash got in the swirling delay at the top of the song but we decided to keep it. We both felt the way the intro happens would be a great way to draw people in.”

Featuring Jenny Conlee (also of The Decemberists and Black Prairie) on keys and accordion, Jesse Emerson on bass, guitarist Chet Lyster of the Eels, and drummer Ezra Holbrook as the current incarnation of The Norway Rats, “‘Hollow Bones’ is a long-distance relationship song,” Neill explains. “I had the chorus and some stray verses but was struggling to finish it. Ezra Holbrook of The My Oh Mys took what I had and brought it all together. My initial draft was melancholy, then Ezra's changes turned up the sadness. The narrator is imagining their loved one traveling home on a plane—‘sailing the ships in the sky.’”

“A fan of Jaret Ferratusco's still photos for a long time,” Neill asked him to direct the video—one that would “be very dreamy and on the subtle side,” and one that stars model Alina Lee.

“The video depicts a story of what people tend to do all the time, which is contemplate the importance of scenes in your life only after the fact, after something huge has happened to you and it’s gone,” Ferratusco describes. “The main character is meant to be an ‘every person’ or an ‘anybody’ at those times when we all look back and wonder: Could you have done something different to hold on to that thing (or that person) you discovered meant the world to you after it wasn’t around anymore? At heart, it's a story of loss, remembrance and forgiveness. Or a reminder to take care of people the way you want them to take care of you.”

Now, according to Neill, watch “Alina capture the emotion of the narrative perfectly."

And catch Casey Neill this Saturday, March 21 opening for The Decemberists at the Keller with his other band The Minus 5, then see him with his Rats on Saturday, May 23 at the Doug Fir with Hook & Anchor and Annalisa Tornfelt (also of Black Prairie) supporting.

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