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Exclusive Premiere: Watch Sarah MacDougall’s New Video for “Empire”

By: Staff –

Sarah MacDougall. (Photo: Jen Squires)

Sarah MacDougall. (Photo: Jen Squires)

Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah MacDougall is back with her new video for “Empire”, which you can watch exclusively on Aesthetic Magazine below. The track serves as the first single from her new album, All The Hours I Have Left To Tell You Anything, which drops November 2nd.

McDougall wrote “Empire” at an artist retreat in an abandoned silver mine town in the Yukon shortly after the death of her grandfather and the dissolution of a long-term relationship. The song is as catchy as it is mysterious, ambitious, and heroic. 

“My dad and I have a lot in common, especially our love for electronic gadgets,” says McDougall. “He was frequently documenting my sister and I with his old film camera when we were young and a few years ago he put together an edited video of some early footage. I always loved it and had it in the back of my mind to use it for something. When Chris [Mills] and I were discussing ideas for my song Empire this old footage came into my mind. I sent it over to Chris to see if he thought we could use it as part of the video. He picked out pieces of the footage that spoke to him and we added some footage of me shot through his grandfather’s old camera. The result is this beautiful, multigenerational magical moment in time.”

“Sarah gave me this beautiful and proud song that made me think of my Grandfather, who used to build airplanes for the War effort,” says video director Chris Mills. “His planes were apparently really effective for reconnaissance cause they were super fast. Then Sarah dropped this enchanted super 8 footage in my lap and was like – “here” I like this chunk that chunk and this other chunk. So, we whipped the whole thing together with some archival footage, and some vintage pilot wardrobe Sarah literally pulled out of thin air, and we shot a bunch of it using my Grandfathers modified rolleiflex camera. “Empire” is what you get when all those worlds stand up and respond to proud string swells and majestic ambitions, I reckon.”

All The Hours I Have Left To Tell You Anything conjures up themes of identity, death, breaking down of relationships, birth, and the ghosts we carry throughout. MacDougall’s writing deftly captures the urgency of life and surrendering to its immediacy.  Epic while remaining intimate, lush while staying stark, and melancholy while still managing to celebrate, the record is undoubtedly influenced by MacDougall’s Swedish roots and the vast and dark beauty of the North.

All The Hours I Have Left To Tell You Anything builds and evolves from MacDougall’s unique sound adding dance rhythms, atmospheric guitars and synths to augment her haunting vocals and poetic lyrics. She called on some of her favorite musical friends to join her on the record including Anna Ruddick (Bry Webb) on bass, and Loel Campbell (Wintersleep) on drums. Production, engineering and additional instrumentation was done by Marcus Paquin (Arcade Fire, The National). Additional production and engineering work by Vancouver based Nygel Asselin and LA based Rich Jaques and Bill Lefler, all combine to make this a truly special record.


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