Sebadoh Uncertainly Embrace Dad-Rock With ‘State of Mine’ Video
The titular state, the jaunty 'Defend Yourself' track assures, is "failure"
“To let the children grow / To feel it themselves / To hurt and grow / It’s the hardest thing I’ve done and I haven’t even done it yet.” If you’ve ever just had a tweet favorited by the animated protagonist of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood — hell, if you know what Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is — you might be in the target demographic for Sebadoh’s bleary-eyed perspective on parenthood. “State of Mine,” from the Lou Barlow-led band’s 2013 reunion album Defend Yourself, embraces the reality of a world where father doesn’t know best but needs to try anyway, sort of like how the indie-rock luminaries have always let of-the-moment imperfections scuzz up Barlow’s plaintive, melodic songcraft. Directed and digitally animated by Geoffrey Hoskinson, the NPR-posted video applies a surreal, collage-like aesthetic to this contrast between Ozzy and Harriet and the underdog narrator. Contrary to the chorus, it’s no “failure” — it’s a snapshot of another phase of finding yourself, where “yourself,” notably for such an introspective songwriter, isn’t really what matters as much.