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First Watch: Iron & Wine, 'Joy'

Apr 12, 2013

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Bob Boilen

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"Deep inside the heart of this crazy mess, I'm only calm when I get lost within your wilderness."

That's a key line in this song, "Joy," by Iron and Wine, the project of Sam Beam. Sam is a songwriter who has a way of making the personal very universal. It's also the line that piqued the interest of director Hayley Morris, who made a video for "Joy." Morris writes to us:

"When brainstorming ideas for possible narratives and visual interpretations of the song 'Joy' by Iron and Wine, I was drawn to that particular lyric. This is what sparked my idea. 'Joy' is a song about love and taking a moment to realize how someone can vastly change how you perceive yourself and the world around you."

In the video, Hayley Morris uses the camera as the "voice" of the song, to show how the woman Sam Beam sings about changes his world. "Through his eyes we see how [she] changes his world and fills it with color," Morris writes. "You catch glimpses of her within the different plants, rocks, trees, and objects that occupy this world. My goal was to have the viewer feel the effect on him through bursts of color, growth and transformation. The video was made by projecting hand-painted water color animations into stop-motion landscapes."

The song is from the new Iron and Wine album called Ghost On Ghost. You can hear the entire record (until it's released on Tuesday, April 16) as part of NPR's First Listen series.

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