At the heart of Richie Quake’s new LP Dog lies a question that the Brooklyn-based songwriter addresses much more eloquently than certain unsettling Hollywood screenplays: Why can’t things be as simple for us humans as it is for our animal companions? Quake brings a sense of warmth to these songs both through their lyrical content and through their diverse range of instrumentation, as heard on album standout “Tree” which recalls the earnest acoustic ballads of Hovvdy before opening up into a fuller pop sound.
For his “Neighborhoods” session, Quake brought the track to Brooklyn’s Pratt Playground for an evening performance warmly lit by the lights of a peripheral apartment complex and an overhead standing lamp, which—along with the video’s grainy texture—gives it shades of Stop Making Sense. He shares that he has the video’s directors Matthew Seger and Dexter Brierley to thank for the unique concept. “To me, filming the video at night with that huge apartment building behind us was a cool metaphor about perspective,” he explains. “While we’re down here filming something important to us, living our lives, expressing ourselves, there’s also hundreds of people behind us living their own lives that we have no idea about.”
“We were inspired by the idea of finding comfort in an unexpected place, which was a feeling we got from the track itself,” the team of Seger and Brierley add. “We wanted to shoot in a New York City park to embrace the setting that is portrayed in the song, but brought in a minimal living room to showcase Richie’s ability to find comfort anywhere he might be. Stylistically, we decided to shoot on 16mm film because we really wanted to compliment the raw nature of Richie Quake’s acoustic version of ‘Tree’ which, working with film, does so well.”
Check out the performance below.