First Watch: Fawn, 'Good Earth'

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Fawn is Anne Malin Ringwalt and William Johnson.
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Anne Malin Ringwalt is a poet, singer and songwriter based out of Boston who's released a handful of lof-fi solo EPs. She's also just collaborated with her boyfriend, Will Johnson on a new EP under the name Fawn. Ringwalt and Johnson are both only 21-years old but sound like they've been making music together for decades. "Good Earth" is a song from Neither Dog Nor Car, Fawn's first release — and their first music video, as well.

Filmed at an abandoned, Christian-themed amusement park in Connecticut, the video for "Good Earth" is, on its surface, unsettling. Dancers with ropes wrapped too tightly around their bodies bend and sway to a discordant guitar. Ringwalt and Johnson appear later, gazing into one another's eyes. The song is tightly wound, but loosened by Ringwalt's dulcet vocals. She tells NPR in an email that the video works to illustrate that tension and release. "'Good Earth' is a ceremonious reclaiming of love and sexuality, becoming one spirit in protest of trauma," she says. "Trauma, as represented by the dancers, particularly their wearing ropes at a Christian theme park, is a catalyst for our ceremony."

And the imagery reflects that: Honey drips down Johnson's skin and clothes like blood, the camera capturing it eerily in slow motion. "The ceremony, made manifest with honey, the color pink and physical and emotional closeness, comes to fruition with Will—and then my, then our—transformation at the end of the music video," Ringwalt explains. "Honey is our 'wedding rings' — sweet, evocative of union."

There are recurring themes of religion, relationships, trauma, and tradition throughout the video. Ringwalt is first seen swathed in white. "I enter the music video in a state of disassociation, wearing a wedding dress in a bathtub full of milk. Nearly every shot of me begins in such a dreamlike state—in the bath, asleep below the three crosses at Holyland, opening my eyes," shes says. "[It's] to emphasize the necessity of the active, patient and nurturing combatting of past harm. 'Good Earth,' while depicting some psychological hardship, is ultimately a celebration moving from disassociation to meditative union—a force of further empowerment."

Neither Dog Nor Car is available now on the band's Bandcamp page.

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