All you need is love. That’s a fairly wise bit of pop philosophy passed down through the generations. Nuala Honan‘s new video (almost) brings that maxim back for the 2020s, yet takes it further. Love is more or less all you need, but her joyous visual accompaniment to her recent single, ‘Slow Down’ adds in the essential existential necessities of frequent hugs, public formation dancing, orange eye shadow and swan headgear. We’re delighted to bring you the video premiere via Bristol in Stereo.

With Nuala as the creative director, Tommy Martin from Bandfilms as the director of photography and Linzy Nanakorn as movement director, it’s playfully collaborative, with further contributions from editor Simon Panrucker and paper swan maker Emma Powell completing the core team.

Says Nuala, “It really all stemmed from my desire to explore visually the two intertwined stories within the song: my experience with a loved one and the Irish legend, The Children of Lir. With that at its core, we then explored the themes these two stories throw up, through movement and interplay, environment and framing. And probably some other things.

“In the Irish legend, The Children of Lir, four siblings, one of whom is a girl named Fionnghuala, are turned into singing white swans for 900 years, in a savage act of jealousy. The story (apart from featuring the origin of my name!) mirrors my sense of pain, disconnection and longing for someone I love, and the search to find ways to connect, communicate and heal.

“My grandad always told us we were descendent from some noble family in the West of Ireland (like all Irish grandads tell their granddaughters, I suspect!) and my brother and I are fascinated with the romance of our heritage, having both felt like outcasts growing up in Australia. So I wanted to explore a sense of regal-ness, distance and formality, that softens into close and tender connection.

“I called on my friends and community to join the cast because collaboration is hugely important to me – community and connection is the only thing keeping me alive. And as many songs on the album, this song explores themes of mental illness, which can be such a lonely existence, so I wanted to remedy that loneliness in the video. The day of shooting was basically eight hours of hugging my friends – it was a powerful tonic.”

We’re loving Nuala’s new sound. No surprise, then, that our Live Editor Jon has made it his ‘On Repeat’ track in February’s magazine.

You too can join Nuala’s ‘swantourage’ with t-shirts themed around the swan design from the video here.

See the video for ‘Slow Down’ here:

Featured image by Paul Blakemore.