Jamie Sierota has kept busy this year since releasing Do Ya?, his debut album under the indie-pop moniker Meija. He’s worked behind the scenes as a writer with artists ranging from Hand Habits and Charly Bliss to JAWNY, though his latest collaboration is on one of his own compositions—his first since Do Ya? dropped in March. “Possum” sees Sierota teaming up with longtime indie songwriter Mark Oliver Everett (a.k.a. Eels) on a call-and-response track that’s as cathartic instrumentally as it is lyrically. “‘Possum’ is a song about trying to face the things that you feel like you haven’t been ready to face,” Meija shares. “I’ve been guilty of ‘playing dead’ with emotions—thinking that I’ve worked through something only to realize that maybe I just went through the motions and I’m not really past it.”
“My dog Bundy has been chasing squirrels for seven years and has never actually caught one,” adds Everett, characteristically spinning an immersive tale to address his involvement with the track. “Recently I was out on the back porch when he suddenly yanked a possum by the tail right off a tree. The possum died immediately and was already covered in flies. I went inside to get gloves and a trash bag so I could attend to the grisly task of disposing of the possum carcass. I googled ‘what to do when your dog kills a possum’ and the first thing on the list was ‘make sure it isn’t playing possum.’ I went outside and the possum had vanished. I’d been had. A possum’s ability to completely shut down their system is so convincing it even fools the flies. But most importantly, Bundy didn’t see the possum come back from the dead, so he can maintain his swagger and bragging rights. When I got the call the next day to be part of Meija’s 'Possum' song it felt right. I had to say ‘yes.’”
For the track’s video directed by Redamo Rosa, Meija takes an even more literal approach to the phrase “playing possum” by playing a floppy disc DOS game called “Possum” at work (it’s a little more straightforward than the Egg Game) before his Lumbergh-esque boss (Everett) puts a stop to it. Naturally, the video ends with Meija going full Peter Gibbons before a to-be-continued teaser fills the screen. “I was trying to capture what it feels like to be stuck in something that doesn’t serve you,” Meija explains of the clip, “and the moment when you finally recognize that and choose a different path forward. Sometimes we need a little push. It could be as simple as a sudden realization or as wild as an almost mystical computer game that takes over the system and speaks to you directly.”
Check out the video below, and expect more from Meija’s “new world [he’s] been working on” in the near future.