Black Prairie Feel Stuffed in “Let It Out”


Progressive folk ensemble Black Prairie have logged some long, boring hours on the highway. After a while, they say, conversations tend to die out. But every once in a while, something so interesting comes up, it inspires a music video concept.

“When you tour with people for a long time, after a while the stories start to run out,” the band’s Chris Funk tells NPR. “Though one day in the van, (vocalist and fiddler Annalisa [Tornfelt) revealed that she in fact used to hunt squirrels with her friend Bethy in the woods. Not unusual for an Alaskan teenager, I guess. However she then revealed they would make purses out of them and wear them to high school, even the bones in their hair to keep their buns up. And I thought smoking cloves while listening to the Smiths was edgy.”

The inventive band was in need of a killer video for “Let It Out,” a propulsive, rock-influenced track off their fourth album, Fortune, and Tornfelt’s childhood hobby stirred the creative pot just enough.

“It’s not altogether too surprising that Annalisa came up with the loose concept of ‘shooting’ (pun fully intended) our video in a working taxidermy shop,” Funk continues. “At which point our director (Jason Roark) and his team (Ken Meyer, Kyle Eaton) ran with the story line and art direction. We were honored to have cameos from fellow Oregonians Michael Hurley (folk legend) and Claire Coffee (Grimm) take the time to enjoy the scent of salted animal hides and taxidermist glue.”

Mixing comedy and creepiness, the music video will make you ask, “Is that place really stuffing and mounting humans?” Nope. It’s just Black Prairie looking natural in “Let It Out.”