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Scene from the Yellow Red Sparks video, for the song "A Play To End All Plays (Courtesy of the artist)

First Watch: Yellow Red Sparks, 'A Play To End All Plays'

Apr 22, 2013

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Robin Hilton

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The songs of Yellow Red Sparks, a folk-pop trio based in California, are twisted tales told through cinematic, often epic orchestrations. In the group's spectacular and creepy new video, for the song "A Play To End All Plays," a couple's failed relationship is acted out like an old circus sideshow before a finger-wagging audience. Frontman Joshua Hanson, who appears as the play's host, indicts the lovers with a surprisingly infectious melody and old-timey instrumentation.

Claire Marie Vogel, who wrote and directed the magnificently shot video, wanted to create a grand work about a woman who dies, quite literally, of a broken heart, while the man who rejected her goes on trial for her death. "The process of creating a concept that I thought would be epic enough for this band was very difficult for me," she tells us via email. "I tried everything imaginable and took many long drives by myself listening to the song over and over again. [Finally] I was listening to the album in my car and the song for 'A Play' began. Before my eyes the music video, almost as you see it now, played in front of me. When the song ended, I remember saying out loud, 'I want to make THAT.'"

"A Play To End All Plays" is from Yellow Red Sparks' self-titled, debut album, which came out in late January.

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