Watch: Fascinating new video for Drive-By Truckers’ “Made Up English Oceans”

There are times when a video is just a distraction, something that quantifies a song to the point where it no longer possesses that thunderclap of personal meaning. Then, there are videos that help you hear something else in a track you thought you already knew.

Such is the case with the new clip from the Drive-By Truckers, which gives another dimension to Mike Cooley’s “Made Up English Oceans.” Written, at least originally, from the point of view of seminal hatchetman Lee Atwater, it presented as a peek into the dark heart of a corrupt Southern politician — and fit in snugly with a series of just-as-sharply drawn character sketches by Patterson Hood on the Athens, Georgia band’s current Top 20 album English Oceans.

Here, though, we see something else — something less about Beltway hooliganism and more about the broader realizations that change everything, that moment when innocence is lost. The twist in the video, directed by Joshua Black Wilson, is in perspective — as a Bible-toting good girl undergoes a striking transformation. In her bottomless eyes, in her eventual destruction of that holy book, a much deeper truth is revealed.

Wilson has previously worked with My Morning Jacket, the Black Keys and Willie Nelson. The Drive-By Truckers kick off a new tour in support of English Oceans later this week. Justin Townes Earle, the Hold Steady and Nelson will appear on select dates.

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso