She & Him’s music video for their cover of Dusty Springfield’s popular hit “Stay Awhile” — from the duo’s Dec. 2 release, Classics — deserves awe and recognition. Bringing their mysterious melancholia alive through dance, the duo has figured out how to bring indie flair to the well-forgotten era of American Bandstand.
She & Him
The video’s elegance lies in its simplicity. Vocalist Zooey Deschanel (also known for her depiction of Jess Day on “New Girl”) dances with a ghost in a transience that makes you beg for her to find whomever she’s longing for. The choreography is exemplary of the emotions that accompany loneliness and disappointment, and what starts off looking like Deschanel in simple child’s play turns into a rock-ribbed routine of twists and turns. Behind it all is producer M. Ward doing what he does best — playing an invisible guitar that ebbs to Deschanel’s heartbreak story.
The vocals are weathered and the choreography is on-point. The visuals are crisp, and with every movement, you’re hooked into wondering where Deschanel’s trance will take her.
The video makes no grand gesture. The visual doesn’t try to make a conclusion about love. Its emotions are simple, and by the end, you’ve truly see how powerful dance can be in painting a picture of wistful yearning.