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Stephen Steinbrink’s New Video Captures The Dull Beauty Of The American Southwest

The songwriter debuts a mostly actionless clip for “Impossible Hand” off his seventh album.

August 08, 2016

Here's a new video for a sweet, folksy pop song called "Impossible Hand." It's by Stephen Steinbrink, a prolific 27-year-old with seven classic-sounding albums and a fondness for really big scarves. He's from a suburb in Arizona, which is where the clip was filmed. Made in collaboration with Ben Kitnick and Saxon Richardson, it captures the ennui of growing up in that part of the U.S. — which seems a whole lot like the ennui of growing up in the Northeast except with less trees and more cacti. The bleakness of the backdrop is balanced out by little splashes of life: a basket full of flowers, a dog, two friends dancing like no one's watching.

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"[The video] was shot over three days around my hometown of Mesa, AZ — all within a mile of the house I grew up in," Steinbrink told The FADER in an email. "The two best dancers I know, Paul Arambula and Lay Yi Ohlsen, helped us by doing their thing in front of the Americopy print shop with the crooked palm tree where I used to make photocopied punk flyers. The abandoned AMF bowling alley and the dollar store with its depressed imprisoned Beta fish are weird decaying artifacts from when I was a kid. Ben and Saxon also grew up in Arizona, and together we took these little absurd stream of consciousness vignettes and edited them to follow no narrative and meander aimlessly, which is what growing up in Arizona feels like."

Anagrams, Steinbrink's newest full-length, is out now on Melodic.

Stephen Steinbrink’s New Video Captures The Dull Beauty Of The American Southwest