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First Watch: Tom Brosseau, 'You Can't Stop'

Singer Tom Brosseau's latest video, for hew new song "You Can't Stop," is both beautiful and surreal, built from seemingly mundane moments that shiver with a strange unease. Like the unsettling undercurrents of a David Lynch movie, things aren't as pastoral or innocent as they seem.

Perhaps that's because Brosseau sees the world as a complicated place. One that's surrounded by darkness but ultimately overwhelmed by love.

"I'm a kind of wanderer,"Brosseau tells NPR Music via email. "A ghost to others and imbued by ghosts, all at once. To live in a moment, and more, stretch that moment out a bit."

Brosseau says he wrote "You Can't Stop" while living in a historic set of bungalows called Dolphin Court, in Venice, Calif. "I go back to the face of a neighbor at Dolphin Court. The way he'd hoist his broom to sweep the spiderwebs from the ceiling corners of his porch made it plain that something was holding him down. More than gravity alone.

"There's an extra pull at all of us. Debt, too much sun, love. I wasn't unlike the rest of the tenants at Dolphin Court. I'm not unlike you, either. Every now and then I'll get a glimpse of what it is. And when I do I'll say to myself, 'There's got to be time left.' Time to do things. At least some of the things. I am a ghost with a shadow. A person's shadow can really be the heaviest thing."

Ben Guzman and Angela Wood of Small Medium Large Productions conceived and beautifully shot "You Can't Stop." It was filmed in a 1950 Spartan Mansion Trailer with images projected on the windows and walls to create a dream-like illusion of travel.

"You Can't Stop" is from Tom Brosseau's upcoming album North Dakota Impressions, due out Sept. 16 on Crossbill Records.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Robin Hilton is a producer and co-host of the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.