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Greylag, 'Yours To Shake'

It's easy to define the world in absolutes, but it rarely leads to truth. Reality is usually more complicated, mostly colored in shades of gray, and often unknowable. It's a never-ending struggle to make sense of each other, ourselves and our desires.

The strange and transfixing story that unfolds in a new video from the Portland, Ore. roots rock group Greylag, for the song "Yours To Shake," is a dark and moody study on good and evil, and the internal tug-of-war to know not only which is which, but which we want.

Gorgeously shot in a Northern California woods, the earthy imagery taps into a primal vein as a man searches for and ultimately chases after a mysterious woman dressed in white. "It isn't all bad / It isn't all good / We'll never get it all right / but we can make it work," sings Greylag frontman Andrew Stonestreet. "I want to die trying to make it better than we could." It's an urgent plea made before the man finally reaches the woman and is humbled in her presence. In the world Greylag imagines, good ultimately triumphs as it, quite literally, brings down the hammer on evil.

"Often times, people are after things that they are just instinctively drawn towards," director Ben Fee tells us via email. "Whether or not those things are good for them, doesn't matter too much. And those things also blind those people in the process, making them bypass, misuse, under appreciate some really magical things in the journey. Even when they fly so close to their goal, and they can see it could be the end of them, the folks still go further."

"Yours To Shake" appears on Greylag's self-titled debut album, out now on Dead Oceans.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Robin Hilton is a producer and co-host of the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.