All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Wed February 13, 2013

First Watch: Maps & Atlases, 'Fever'

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:25 am

The deeply disturbed character who appears in the latest Maps & Atlases video, for the song "Fever," may not live to see tomorrow. As the Chicago-based band sings about holding on in our darkest hours, "The Man" slowly wastes away, addicted to a mysterious drug.

Maps & Atlases guitarist Erin Elders, who directed the video, tells us in an email that "The Man" is an imagined character the band first introduced in a promo video for the group's latest album Beware And Be Grateful. "The Man has become a nomad, wandering in and out of the city's frayed pockets. He self-medicates his mysterious affliction while wasting time in train yards and burned-out parking lots. Ultimately he finds it's the small, human interactions that cure him."

Elders says the band had a much larger production in mind when they began working on the video, one that involved "a roller-skating rink and a small army of extras." But the group scrapped it because of a lack of resources. "At first, I viewed this as our project falling apart," Elders says. "But really it was helping us focus on what the video was about. Having no budget and a barebones crew made us tell our story with very little. We had to whittle it down to its most simple. Reality was doing us a favor; after all, the video was about the importance of the human connections we make. You don't need a crane shot over a sea of extras to convey that."

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