Le Ren Continues Her Journey From Past to Present in “May Hard Times Pass Us By” Video

The Montreal songwriter’s debut album Leftovers arrives October 15 via Secretly Canadian.

It’s a tough time for clowns right now. In addition to the clown shortage Northern Ireland is reportedly suffering through, Pagliacci and various Joker movies have become the butts of seemingly most of the jokes on Twitter these days, hinting that future generations will no longer take them seriously. It’s likely incidental, but this tragi-comic reality takes a turn for the melancholy in the new visual from Lauren Spear’s musical project Le Ren, which serves as the final chapter to a music video trilogy directed by Ali Vanderkruyk. Starring the songwriter as a jester, the grainy footage of Spear wiping the makeup from her face and changing back into street clothes as her quivering vocals and the instrumental’s gentle strings provide an intimate soundtrack is made to feel like an extension of the home video footage that precedes it.

“We shot the video at Tir-na-nOg Theatre School on Bowen island/Nex̱wlélex̱m [in British Columbia], where Lauren grew up performing,” Vanderkruyk shares, noting that the video begins right where the last one left off. “The intention, like the two videos prior, demonstrates a revolving door between the past and present. We wanted to weave tropes and images through each chapter: the generosity of matriarchy against longing and loneliness, light versus shadows, intimate versus distanced performance. Each acts as a piece of a puzzle: designed as a whole then separated, engaged with, rearranged to synchronicity.” 

There’s both an easy-to-gauge sadness and a sense of temporal displacement to the video, which matches the inexplicit emotional reference points for the single itself. “This song is really close to my heart,” Le Ren adds. “It was written for someone as we worked through a turbulent time in our relationship.”

Watch the video below, and pre-order the album here.

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