At the top of “Atlantic,” Tamara Lindeman stares out across a sunset, a monumental wash of crimson stretching over the ocean. “My god,” she sings, almost murmuring. Over a tightrope taut drum kit, blocky piano chords, flutes, and guitars, Lindeman struggles to comprehend the enormity of what she’s seeing, to take it in and make sense of it. “Understanding” the visionary power of a sunset feels impossible, just like “what’s happening” feels impossible: already strained systems giving out completely, a violent plague, a world being made more and more unlivable by humans (at least for humans). “Does it matter if I see it?” she questions, a touch of terror, or at least grim inevitability in her voice. “Can I not just cover my eyes?”
Like “The Robber” and “Tried To Tell You,” two other singles from the forthcoming Ignorance (out February 5 via Fat Possum), the video for “Atlantic,” finds Lindeman in the director chair. On camera, she’s wearing the mirrored suit she sports on the cover of Ignorance. Flashes of light bounce off her as the band theatrically tromps, maybe crunching twigs underfoot. Lindeman stares directly into the camera and you become nervous that perhaps you’ll catch your own reflection in her mirrored suit, the antsiness intensifying as you gawk at a screen. “I should get all this dying off of my mind,” Lindeman sings, part Christine McVie, part Mark Hollis. You contemplate the headlines and wonder what’s coming next, dread accumulating in your stomach. What are you supposed to do with that feeling of doom? Are you supposed to do anything? Are you, on your own, even able to? Everything twists inside a little. You can justify looking away. Lindeman stares back until she vanishes, sparkling off into the night.