The video for Carry Illinois single "Scattered' may begin with a whimsical looking doll and playful animation, but as time passes, one realizes the full meaning behind the singer's (Lizzy Lehman) message. "Scattered" is a strong declaration of hope, with Lehman providing a soothing, comforting mantra ("Someday we're gonna see ourselves through") that stands in stark contrast to its backing of fierce, bold strings. The track's mood and energy is one of continuous shifting, beginning with the sound of an unruly, ominous guitar that later loses it furious edge, allowing Lehman to reaching stunning vocal heights. "Scattered" is a deep look inward, with Lehman reflecting on the lofty, unreachable goals of perfection displayed in magazines and how one truly only needs to try what they deem is their best. Vocals are stripped away for the song's closing moments, as a burst of blooming guitar leads you straight into a final, unforgettable thought: "You are not out of commission..."
We chatted with Lizzy Lehman of the band about the track and video which appear on her Work in Progress EP out now.
The Grey Estates: What did you envision for the video and how do you feel that it ties into the theme of the single? What was it like to put yourself in this fake, but imaginative world?
Lizzy Lehman: I knew I wanted the video to display the immense strength it takes to cope with emotional struggle, and show that self-realization and self-acceptance is by no means an easy task to achieve. I gave Benjamin Violet (our keys player and the director/editor of the video) full creative reign when it came to developing a captivating visual story for “Scattered.” He is extremely talented and imaginative, and I knew he would do an incredible job of tapping into the raw emotions of the music. Breaking into multiples of my real self on the floor, beating up on my fleece body parts, providing self-compassion by hugging my crafted self, and sewing my doll self back together (brought to life by the amazing felt/fleece creations made by art director Akki Brathwaite) were just a few of the vignettes that successfully represented human resilience, hope, and the need for self-love despite feelings of brokenness and self-doubt.
It felt vulnerable, but also really fun and freeing to be in this fake and imaginative world. It provided a small escape from the sometimes harsh emotional realities of life. I was able to view myself from an outside perspective and see my serious and more child-like sides coexisting.
When did you discover that music could be a way of healing for you? And how have you used your own work as a means of moving forward from past struggles?
Music has helped me heal for as long as I can remember. My parents would play Yellow Submarine to calm me down as a baby. Later, in elementary school, if I was sad, angry, or scared I would go to my room and turn the stereo on, and it would relax and center me. In terms of expressing my feelings, singing has always been easier than talking it out. I have used my own music to move forward from past and present struggles by leaving my fears behind and confronting those painful memories head-on in my lyrics. By writing and singing about this pain I have been able to realize how much I have grown, how powerful I have become, where I see myself in the future, and what an incredible support system I have now.
I wanted to ask about the line: "We're gonna see ourselves through". You repeat that throughout the song. Does it hold a significance and were you using it in a mantra type fashion?
It is a mantra for myself and others that it is ok to be imperfect and take the time to become who we want to be, because we are powerful and have an incredible ability to grow and change. With the help of loved ones, self-compassion, self-love, and self-confidence it is possible to become our best selves.
What does "Scattered" represent to you and how do you find that it fits in with the rest of the narrative on the EP?
The theme of this EP centers on the trials and tribulations we encounter when we seek human connection, self-discovery, self-betterment, and delve into the most sensitive and wounded parts of ourselves. “Scattered” is about embracing “flaws” that in actuality make us beautiful and unique creatures. It also represents learning to accept the ups and downs we all encounter throughout life’s journey. It is both normal and difficult to fall apart and pick ourselves back up again.ᐧ