Folk group Fleet Foxes have shared a new animated music video for their song “Featherweight,” the latest single from their most recent album Shore. The video, directed by group leader and frontman Robin Pecknold, arrived on the one-year anniversary of the album’s release and is accompanied by a short documentary film on the music video’s creation.
Like all Fleet Foxes visuals since the group’s inception in 2008, the “Featherweight” music video was made by Pecknold’s brother and collaborator Sean, who collaborated with Robot Chicken animator Eileen Kholheep and Toronto-based visual artist Sean Lewis. It combines stop-motion animation with multiplane video shooting, a technique that Pecknold previously used in 2011 for the group’s music video “The Shrine / The Argument.”
“I had seen the multiplane technique in early Disney films like Bambi and Pinocchio, then later when I discovered Lotte Reiniger’s and Yuri Norstein’s films,” Pecknold said. “I’m very drawn to the texture, depth-of-field and parallax inherent in the technique.”
In his visuals for the group, Sean Pecknold takes inspiration both from the lyrical content and the musical imagery of his brother. He was inspired to create the “Featherweight” visuals after listening to the multi-track stems of the song, which are now available on Bandcamp: “actually hearing the layers that went into the song was a nice exercise for me to think about the layers of the pictures,” he said, which allowed him to “see the song in a new way.”
The music video depicts a young hawk struggling to fly with a broken wing and attempting to find the hope necessary to carry on and triumph over despair. With striking colors and emotive motions, the mixed-media creation feels extremely natural, and deeply human, despite not depicting any humans.