Hosannas Soundtrack an Anime Dreamscape Tinged With Heartbreak in the "Hands" Music Video (KEXP Premiere)

Local Music, KEXP Premiere
Martin Douglas
Photo by Amelia Okabayashi & Austin Tretwold

It starts with a title card, the backdrop a tiled bathroom wall with a sign signaling a handwashing station. Followed by an unintelligible message ending with, "Thank you." A glimmering tear slides off of the leaf of a plant. A woman looks in the mirror, her eyes wobbly with the tears filling them up. We as viewers are placed in the aftermath of a breakup, subtitled half-accusations appear at the bottom of the screen, two figures happily in love are cast as shadows. The tears fill up a resplendent diamond heart, and the half-accusations give way to a message: "Please remember. It was like we were dreaming at the edge of a lake. You were my protector when the world was unfair. We fought for each other." A phone drops onto the ground and gets picked up, its screen displaying weblike fractures after the fall. It's ringing. The name displayed is "Him." Eventually, the call turns into a missed call, and the protagonist is floating in a cloudless sky.

The video for "Hands" carries the feel of a lost anime found deep in the racks of a secondhand video store during a clearance sale, blurry and warped. Michael Meow & Momo Meow — the animators and directors of the video — intended it directly as a homage to VHS-dubbed copies of 80's cartoons and anime. Each frame of the video was hand drawn by the animators themselves.

"Hands" is the penultimate track on Picture Him Protecting You (out now via Fresh Selects), an expansive tour through groove-heavy, psychedelic-adjacent pop and luminous, atmospheric ballads. This particular single assuredly fits in the latter category, with its boldly twinkling synths flickering and floating along with serpentine bass and gracefully understated percussion. The Portland-based duo of brothers that make up Hosannas — Brandon and Richard Laws — have been playing under a variety of monikers for a number of years, with this, their latest group, placing fourth in Willamette Week's Best New Band poll. In the years since, the group has expanded their sound to offer the feel of a prom band on the moon. Based on those metrics, "Hands" is the slow dance near the end of the night where everybody finds either the person they came with or the one they're want to dance with the most.

Reaching out to the band for a word on the video I received the following response:

"It is kind of a mind-fuck to realize that we are all floating through life completely in our own subjective pods of experience and yet even though we are all alone in this way nothing is in our control. You think someone is standing next to you, moving with you, and then you turn to look and they are gone."

It's a statement very true to the very fabric of life: Some things are just out of your hands.

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