The Writing’s on the Wall for mmeadows in “You Should Know By Now” Video

In the early days of a new relationship, second guessing is second nature. Singer-songwriter Kristin Slipp, known for her work as keyboardist in Dirty Projectors, wonderfully captures the unease and doubt that creeps in like a sinister force with “You Should Know by Now.” As one-half of mmeadows, a creative collaboration with Cole Kamen-Green, who’s played trumpet on two Beyoncé records and worked closely with Lorde, Slipp approaches the emotional turmoil with vigorous delicacy.

“I tried to capture a tone that’s lovingly blunt, using language you might reserve for the ones you’re closest with,” Slipp tells Audiofemme. “I’m dreaming of a video montage of people playing this song for their crush and capturing the reaction, the crush having this aha moment, like ‘duh, the signs were all there, I just needed someone to spell it out.’”

Harp (played by musician Rebecca El-saleh) harmoniously intermingles with layered drums/percussion (courtesy of Ian Chang) to elevate the scalpel-sharp lyrics. “It’s when you’re looking in the mirror/And you find your light/And your reflection is a secret/In the darkest night,” sings Slipp over the crunchy soundscape.

“If I die before I wake, there’s one thing I want you to know,” she continues, unraveling the thematic frays, almost gliding with swan-like ease into the chorus – before an abrupt about-face with a trickling hip-hop cadence. “Every time I turn around/I’m ahead of myself and I’m falling faster.”

It’s an intoxicating, delightfully jarring switch-up — a syncopated vocal contrasting in explosive bursts against the harp’s tender tone. “The melody of the chorus centers around one note, hammered into over and over. It’s a bit of tone painting,” she explains, “hitting you with this note until it’s obvious. Then, jumping up to articulate the idea in a higher register, in case you needed to hear it another, sweeter way. Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it.”

The accompanying music video, directed, filmed, and edited by Derrick Belcham (La Blogotheque, A Story Told Well), glows with a warm, vintage ambiance, almost acting as a time machine back to MTV’s music video heyday. “We spend our lives in front of screens,” remarks Slipp. “When faced with 2020’s stark reality, we decided to look inward and focus on writing; songs becoming salves.”

As such, the visual “recontextualizes the relationship between screen and viewer” with Belcham snapping in-studio performance footage of the band and then funneling it through an old school TV set and a giant screen projector, placed strategically around various NYC locations, including along the shoreline overlooking the sparkling cityscape in early evening hours. “Taking something that is often inches from our face and throwing it up on a larger-than-life space is sometimes the only way to read the writing on the wall,” notes Slipp.

Slipp and Kamen-Green released their first project together as mmeadows in early 2020 with the hypnotic six-song EP Who Do You Think You Are?. Over the pandemic, Slipp continued her work with Dirty Projectors, issuing the ambitious 5EPs compilation of five separate extended plays. “We’re excited to continue to release this music we’ve been cultivating and developing well into 2022,” she teases. Their next show takes place at The Sultan Room in Bushwick on November 6, and the duo’s debut long-player, Light Moves Around You, arrives in early 2022.

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