Free-Spirited Kids Dance Through the Woods in Animal Years’ New ‘Friends’ Video: Premiere

Dec 06
Featured

Americana rock trio (Mike McFadden, Anthony Saladino and Anthony Spinnato) unveil a new video for their song “Friends” exclusively on Billboard today (Dec. 6), featuring a group of young friends who dance through life (well, at least the woods) together.

The video begins with a young woman lowering herself from a tree house marked “Friends Only” — alone in the woods, looking around her and up at the vast blue sky as McFadden’s voice sings, “I was on my own / So far from home / And there were days when I felt like I could not win / When I lost it all, and I needed a friend.”

Seemingly content with being on her own, the girl dances her way to a tree trunk until another girl greets her, and another. Now, what was curious choreography with one girl is poignant with three — and more as kids keep joining in throughout the video. Now, instead of wishing that one lonely girl could hear a friendly voice, you’re wishing you could join her and her friends playing in the woods.

Of the video, the Brooklyn-by-way-of Baltimore group tells Billboard: “This video is incredibly dear to us. It was written and directed by our bass player, Anthony Saladino, and we shot it on his family friends’ property upstate where he spent a lot of time as a child, which made the video that much more personal. Taking the kids and the crew up there where we all slept in one massive old cabin with no Internet, eating family-style dinners around the same table, staying up late laughing and playing board games, sleeping on air mattresses on the floor in the living room — it all made for a surreal and intensely special experience. And those five kids carried the weekend in every way.”

The song features punctuating drums underneath McFadden’s gravelly vocals. These sounds mixed together creates a warm pallet that could easily be compared to the art supplies of folk-rock popular kids like The Lumineers.

Animal Years calls “Friends” the most personal song to them collectively “considering this whole thing begins and ends with our friends.” Adding, “We love ‘em, we sometimes hate ‘em, but they’ve been with us every step of the way so this song and this video are quite obviously for them (but if you tell any of them we said that, we’ll deny it till we die).”

Watch the “Friends” video below:

https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/8061748/animal-years-friends-video