Amanda Palmer & Edward Ka-Spel: The Clock at the Back of the Cage (premiere)

Music Team | 28 Apr 2017

Take a first look at the haunting stop-motion video for The Clock at the Back of the Cage, from the new album by Legendary Pink Dots songwriter Edward Ka-Spel and former Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer

A collaboration between two of music's most individual talents, I Can Spin A Rainbow is the new album from one-of-a-kind songwriter, artist and crowdfunding pioneer Amanda Palmer, and one of her favourite artists – Edward Ka-Spel of Anglo-Dutch psych outfit Legendary Pink Dots. Palmer and Ka-Spel's story goes back two-and-a-half decades; in 1992, a 16-year-old Palmer saw LPD in her hometown of Boston, and three years later hosted the band and crew at her childhood home as they returned on tour. In 2005, The Dresden Dolls invited the Dots to support them on a tour of Germany, where plans were hatched for an album.

Recorded at Imogen Heap's home studio in Essex, the album blends storytelling, poetry and lyricism with a wide range of soundscapes – Palmer describes the tracks as a "compost of the ingredients of our fears and conversations in song form", while Ka-Spel says: "Making this record with Amanda felt a little like discovering a twin you didn’t know you had, until a mysterious email lands in your inbox at a particularly auspicious moment. Some things are just meant to be…”

The Clock at the Back of the Cage is a minimal and haunting piece, with a powerful stop-motion video directed by Chris Bennett, Christy Louise Flaws & Luke O’Connor, and we're thrilled to share the first screening of the video at The Skinny, along with Amanda Palmer's thoughts on the track and video. Watch the video in the player above.

Talking us through The Clock at the Back of the Cage, Palmer says the song "is my favorite track from the record, probably because it’s the most painfully personal." 

She says: "Edward and I bounced back and forth writing the lyrics for this co-written record, and this one was 96% mine, but I did something unusual, which was to ask Edward to sing it even though it was a slice out of my own heart... which felt like a real act of trust. Edward was the voice that raised me as a teenager and it felt like a huge full-circle act, to give him this super-personal song of my own to sing in his own voice, sort of like handing your child over to a trusted old friend, knowing that they won’t fuck it up."

As for the video, Palmer says the duo weren't initially sure whether they would produce a clip for the track: "I was in Melbourne and hanging out with Christy (she and her partner Luke are the circus actors in the video) and, while we were chasing our two children around (we both have almost-two-year olds) she off-handedly showed me this beautiful little video-promo-piece, which stop-animation filmed from above in a huge, empty, cement room – and I could see, like a flash, how the style and room would work for the song.

"So I looked up at Christy and said: 'Can you guys make another video in this style, pronto, and work with me on a script?' So four nights later we sat down with Chris, the director, and I played them the song and explained the deep dark backstory... and we started banging out a script. All of the fabric you see was sourced from my fans in Melbourne and various thrift stores! And I’m so proud of what came out the other end... some projects just come together like magic and this was one of them."

I Can Spin A Rainbow is released on 5 May; Amanda Palmer & Edward Ka-Spel play the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts on 29 May, as well as a headline show at Heaven in London on 13 June. Follow and support Amanda Palmer on Patreon here.