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Madison band Histo’s new video lets loss lead to hope

“Glad You Got Away” makes a case for keeping your head down.

Ahead of the November release of its second album, Asleep In The Firehole, thoughtful Madison guitar-pop band Histo released videos for a couple of its songs, “Living Proof” and “Genes.” While both of those clips leaned on the band’s sense of irreverent humor, the video Histo is releasing for the album’s closing track, “Glad You Got Away,” takes a more serious, understated approach. 

Histo bandleader Donald Ephraim Curtis wrote the song while grappling with the death of one of his favorite artists (he’s deliberately not saying who), finding the moment to have an unexpectedly profound impact. Visually, “Glad You Got Away” pays respect to a phase of the grieving process: keeping your head down and pushing through it, one day at a time, even when you don’t have the strength to look ahead. 

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Donald Ephraim Curtis of Histo.

Donald Ephraim Curtis of Histo.

Nearly all of the brief, grainy vignettes that comprise “Glad You Got Away” fixate on the ground or items just above. Rocks, dirt, rabbits, grass, sprinkles, firepits, and bugs make up the majority of the imagery in “Glad You Got Away” and some color correction livens up the proceedings. For a little over seven and a half minutes, the Curtis-directed video immerses the viewer in the mundane. When “Glad You Got Away” finds the resolve to pick its head up, the video climaxes with a moment of catharsis. It’s a testament to how the harsh realities of life can give you a new perspective on the moments that make it worthwhile.

As a song, “Glad You Got Away” operates in the same mold as most of Histo’s previous work: a mid-tempo, guitar-heavy piece of slacker-punk tinged with melancholy. As a video, “Glad You Got Away” finds the band maximizing the emotional impact of minimalist presentation. Asleep In The Firehole is an excellent record and “Glad You Got Away” is a beautiful allegory. Both the record and the video are worth looking to for comfort, a sense of guidance, and a bit of hope.

For most of Histo’s run in Madison, the wistful indie-rock band has earned comparisons to Built To Spill, and Asleep In The Firehole is only going to further those comparisons. That’s not a bad thing. One of the defining aspects of Built To Spill’s ongoing legacy has been the remarkable consistency of their material. Last year, Histo’s self-titled debut proved that Curtis had songwriting instincts strong enough to warrant attention, but Asleep In The Firehole takes the band to memorable new heights.

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