By Amanda Wicks
Sturgill Simpson released the music video for the first single, “Brace for Impact (Live a Little),” off his new project A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.
The song touches on themes of time, change, life and death, and to depict each one in a powerful way, Simpson relied on illustrator Matt Mahurin to bring a unique touch to the video.
Mahurin directed “Brace for Impact (Live a Little)”, which intersperses shots of a sepia-toned Simpson with animated images that transform before the viewer’s very eyes. A young boy lying asleep in bed quickly ages into a skeletal thing; people drudgingly walk step by step in a line while the Grim Reaper waits for them on the other side; and finally a Rapture-esque ending lifts figures into the sky via beams of light.
The images call to mind a hybrid between Salvador Dali’s work and the imagery Pink Floyd has used in the past, which works well for a song that has a touch of Pink Floyd about it. “So go and live a little/ Bone turns brittle/ And skin withers before your eyes/ Make sure you give a little/ Before you go to the great unknown in the sky,” Simpson sings on the chorus.
Simpson intended the nine-track album to function as a letter to his first child, who was born in 2014. In addition to eight original songs, the album also features a cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom.”
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth drops April 15th.