Back in January, SPIN premiered Thao & the Get Down Stay Down’s “We the Common [For Valerie Bolden],” the slightly synth-infused folk-rock anthem that opens the band’s recently released third album, We the Common. At the time, we wondered who the woman mentioned in the song’s title was and now we have an answer. “This song was inspired by a poignant, candid and unshakable conversation with Valerie Bolden, a woman serving life without parole in the California state prison system,” reads a statement from frontwoman Thao Nguyen and music video director Lauren Tabak. “It’s hard to imagine that meeting would be anything but somber — but it resonated with a humanity and humor that greatly outshone its surroundings.”
That joyful perseverance reportedly informed the track’s triumphant surge and it’s clearly been translated to the song’s accompanying video, directed by Tabak. The above four-minute clip follows Thao & the Get Down Stay Down on their just-completed North American tour, capturing bits of all the gigs, meals, photo shoots, and fan encounters lived through along the way. Keep a careful eye out for a cameo from This American Life‘s Ira Glass and comedian John Hodgman.