The battle in this music video is actually a beautiful lullaby

by Parent Co. March 20, 2015

"Nothing I had done before did anything to prepare me for you."

Motherhood is the juxtaposition of many things. Badassery and softness. Energy and exhaustion. Who we are, versus who we thought we were. On Swale's 2014 album, The Next Instead, keyboardist and singer, Amanda Gustafson delivers a startlingly honest and beautiful song about her experience as a new mother. More than appropriately titled, Beaten Down, it was written as a sort of lullaby to her first child. Like many of the songs she writes, it began with the melody and the first line. ("I thought I was beaten down, then you beat me down." SING IT, SISTER.) "It's like a ghost shows up, and then I have to figure out why it's there."

Thankfully, she did.

It seems impossible that our journeys as parents are so unique yet so universal at the same time. But there's not a single lyric that doesn't have to push its way past the lump in my throat as I sing along (What would I give for that voice?) It resonates, from beginning to end.

"The feeling of being beaten down is coming face to face with the reality of what I’m going to mother like. And that’s a hard realization. Because you will be mad at an infant."

The video, shot at the Northern New England Golden Gloves of Vermont,spanned less than three weeks from concept to shooting . And while Shem Roose shot footage of several different fights of both men and women, it became clear during the editing there was only one match they wanted to use. Hannah Rodrigue vs. Anna Gagnon. (The fact that their uniforms matched the band's clothing and instruments was a complete coincidence.)

"This feels very particularly a woman’s fight. The pressure that we put on ourselves to be kind and loving and sweet mothers- that’s our expectation of ourselves and the battle is to be that all the time."

Hear more Swale and follow them on Facebook.


Parent Co.

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