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EXCLUSIVE: the 1900s Visit the Majestic Southwest


On their upcoming record, Return of the Century (out Nov. 2), Chicago quintet the 1900s pack tales of romantic unease into tightly wound, breezily-voiced guitar pop – and the band’s new, homemade video for “Amulet” captures that dichotomy. Watch it below.

Edward Anderson and Caroline Donovan — two of the band’s trio of singers — captured the footage themselves on a pocket-sized Kodak video camera while on a road trip around Arizona, Utah, and Nevada in March of 2009, while they were already writing the songs that would eventually make up Return of the Century.

“The lyrical and textural themes [of the new songs] were pointing to the Southwest, so we decided to go down there and check it out, having never been there,” Anderson tells “Nothing was planned except the idea to make something. Honestly, it was more of a vacation.”

The video mirrors the song’s narrative of a woman being lost in the desert, which Anderson says is partially based on Licorice McKechnie, a singer with ’60s psych folk act the Incredible String Band, who mysteriously dropped off the grid about 20 years ago. “There’s the old gospel song that goes, ‘You better live the life you sing about in your songs,'” says Anderson. “We went to the place were the songs were set and acted it out. It’s cohesive. I view [the video] as an integral part of the album itself.”