Watch Okkervil River's Alternate, Single-Take Version of 'Stay Young'

Will Sheff's electronic Lovestreams project contributes re-imagining of Sean Dunne-directed video

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Kyle McGovern WRITTEN BY
Kyle McGovern

This week, Okkervil River shared the official music video for "Stay Young," a horn- and harmonica-enhanced highlight from the indie-folk crew's latest album, this September's The Silver Gymnasium. Premiered on Rolling Stone, the clip serves as a visual love letter to frontman Will Sheff's childhood home state of New Hampshire — it's four sunny minutes of kids drinking beers, riding all-terrain vehicles, and kicking up dirt on motorcycles. Now, director Sean Dunne has shared an alternate version of the short, one that follows a pair of Bud Light-slugging youths as they cruise through the woods of Claremont, New Hampshire on an ATV. Shot entirely in a single take, the clip is paired with a remix of "Stay Young" done by Sheff's electroni-pop side project, Lovestreams.

"One of the shooting techniques Sean used was to give these kids small wide-angle cameras to mount on their ATVs that would film them as they rode around," Sheff tells SPIN. "Most people just rode around for a minute or two and came back, but one couple actually went out on a little journey through the woods that lasted the duration of the whole song. When Sean and his producer Cass Greener started looking at what they'd shot over the weekend, this single-take journey spoke to them as a surprising little mini-story buried in the footage. We decided it would be fun to release this couple's little ATV trip as a stand-alone film, and so we could give people something extra to go with it I decided I'd do a remix of 'Stay Young,' less in the Okkervil River approach and more in the direction of my other project, Lovestreams. The 'Stay Young' Lovestreams mix was done in hotel rooms in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and El Paso — but mostly it was done in the back of a van moving between these places."

Watch the remix's music video above, stream the track below, and scroll further to read more of Sheff's thoughts on the video shoot.

I think when people think of my home state of New Hampshire – if they think about it at all – they think of quaint little village squares and picket fences. Or (and this is even worse from a New Hampshire-ite's eyes) they lump it in with Vermont. In the "Stay Young" video and on The Silver Gymnasium in general I wanted to portray a different side of New Hampshire, one more in line with my memories of kids growing up there. Four-wheelers and snowmobiles were the coolest things going for NH young people when I was a kid, and I thought it would be fun to make a video that was just this total four-wheeler and ATV fantasia. The "Stay Young" video was shot in Claremont, NH, two towns to the south of where I grew up, and incidentally the town where I rented my first musical instrument, a saxophone. We hooked up with the kids through a local store specializing in ATV supply and repair.

I really liked Sean Dunne’s documentary work; I thought he would do a great job of capturing the vibrancy and fun of these kids on their ATVs. Sean and his producer Cass Greener went up to Claremont and filmed what basically amounted to a huge party on a backyard ATV track up in the hills, and they cut the "Stay Young" video from that.

One of the shooting techniques Sean used was to give these kids small wide-angle cameras to mount on their ATVs that would film them as they rode around. Most people just rode around for a minute or two and came back, but one couple actually went out on a little journey through the woods that lasted the duration of the whole song. When Sean and his producer Cass Greener started looking at what they'd shot over the weekend, this single-take journey spoke to them as a surprising little mini-story buried in the footage. We decided it would be fun to release this couple's little ATV trip as a stand-alone film, and so we could give people something extra to go with it I decided I'd do a remix of "Stay Young," less in the Okkervil River approach and more in the direction of my other project, Lovestreams. The “Stay Young” Lovestreams mix was done in hotel rooms in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and El Paso – but mostly it was done in the back of a van moving between these places.

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