By Mike Romero
Today, indie pop-rock act Shrink the Giant released the music video for their song “Fast and Far” from their 2014 full-length album, Faceless. We loved the video immediately for one oddly specific reason. There are so many music videos featuring bands “performing” full-band in the woods, and you always have to wonder – where do they plug in all of their gear? Like, do you just plug all your instruments into a tree? Shrink the Giant has given us the definitive answer, and that answer is yes.
“When we were raising funds for Faceless, in our indiegogo video, we poked fun at those music videos where the band is out nature but their amps aren’t plugged into anything, and how silly that is,” the band told Reach Provo. “But the joke evolved to the point where we wanted to make a video out in nature, but actually plug into nature.” All of the band’s music videos are self-produced, with collectively created concepts. Band manager Jean-Marc Barr usually directs, and band mom, filmmaker Ali Barr, acts as cinematographer. “Fast and Far” was edited by keyboardist Jean-Christian.
The three Barr siblings in the band, Stefania (lead vocals), Sebastian (violin/vocals), and Jean-Christian (keys), grew up listening to and learning to play classical music, the Beatles, David Bowie, and the likes of The Cure and Depeche Mode. Drummer Oakley Hill and guitarist Aaron Hurt grew up listening to music on the harder end of the spectrum – acts like Slipknot and Dance Gavin Dance. Blending those influences, the band sounds like a quirky blend of Grouplove, Paramore, and early Imagine Dragons, with lots of punch and energy behind the drums.
When asked why they chose to release “Fast and Far” as a single, the band said it “stuck out as one of the hits from the album. It’s our favorite song to close a show with because of the amazing energy it brings, and we love the interaction we get with the crowd singing the chorus hook. It was also the perfect song to showcase the playful personalities we have in our band. Shrink the Giant started as a duo – Stefania and Aaron […] we wanted a classic performance video in which we introduced the band members and their personalities.”
The band calls the song itself “unabashedly optimistic.” It makes reference to “Brainclouds” – depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses – that affect a lot of the population on a regular basis. The band wanted to write about getting through everyday struggles with energy and gratitude.
The song took on new meaning, however, when a neighbor committed suicide. “It was a big blow to all of us,” the band says. “We wrote a song, ‘Faceless,’ which is the title track of the album, concerning that death and the addiction that lead to it, and we discovered that ‘Fast and Far’ was the perfect follow up song – the continuation of our friend’s journey, so to speak. We made the two songs flow together musically (as one song) on the album. In that context, ‘Fast and Far’ is about death as much as it is about life. It’s about working your way through the struggle, maintaining hope that good things are coming.”
The band will release two more music videos for Faceless and additional B-sides from the album over the next few months, as well as a brand new single this fall. While the band has taken a break from playing shows until Sebastian returns to the country next June, they have been actively anticipating the release of their third album and a future tour.
Make sure to like Shrink the Giant on Facebook and check out the music video for “Fast and Far” below!