Premiere: “Taming Shadows” by Allie Crow Buckley

Contradictions and nuance in the LA-based singer-songwriter's newest release

From LA-based singer-songwriter Allie Crow Buckley‘s album Moonlit and Devious (out today), “Taming Shadows” comprises countless dualities. Though minimal, it explores several concepts—some tangible and some abstract. Simultaneously it’s a love song and a promise, while touching on memory, dreams, conflict, inner tumult and healing. Buckley says illustrating these many—sometimes disparate—qualities was central when writing the lyrics. “I was exploring the ideas around the dualities in oneself and in a relationship,” she says. “These sorts of contradictions we all have within ourselves and inevitably come to the surface during courtship and how we make sense of them. Trying to heal someone else having not healed yourself.”

In a straightforward way, the video—directed by Jacklyn Meduga and born from Buckley’s background as a dancer—reflects these dualities by being black and white. But its gentle, haunting nature provides nuance with ethereal lighting, texture and Buckely’s fluid movements contrasted by stillness. “Dance was a huge part of my life for many years, it was such a joy to get to create this atmospheric movement with Jacklyn. She came up with the concept and choreography. A beautiful marriage because of her background in dance and film,” Buckley says.

“This song began as a poem, and was written almost entirely at once,” she explains about its mystic quality. “It was softly inspired by Chiron, or rather the phrase he represents, ‘The Wounded Healer.'” In Greek mythology, the immortal centaur Chiron was abandoned by his mother and found by Apollo, who taught him the art of healing, prophecy, astrology and music. Some say that Chiron invented medicine and surgery. Later, he was injured by a poison arrow and couldn’t heal himself, but also could not die. Eventually he gave up his immortality to become a constellation.

Both the song and the video leave plenty of room for the listener and viewer. Buckley says it was intentional. “It was something I set out to do when recording the song,” she says. “I wanted to leave space for the listener, and create a sense of intimacy. I feel Jacklyn connected to and understood that space in her conception visually and within the choreography.”

Images by Nastassia Brückin