Joni Mitchell comes alive for Christmas in first “River” music video
A lively river now runs through Joni Mitchell’s video work, as a 50-year-old song that has gradually been drafted into holiday music canon, “River,” just received its first music video. The clip debuted with little time to spare in this “blue” half-centenary year, premiering two days before Christmas.
The video is styled as a series of moving black and white watercolors, so to speak, not opening in actual color until the end. There, against Mitchell’s bittersweet instrumental coda “Jingle Bells”, the frozen landscape finally takes on a verdant green and the title river turns… blue. The music video was directed by Matvey Rezanov of Skazka Studios.
Despite the lyrics set at Christmas time, “River” received little relaunch in a holiday setting in the years and even decades after its release in 1971, but it has gained momentum as a target for them. melancholy cover versions in the 1990s. Those who recorded it include Sarah McLachlan, Aimee Mann, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Pentatonix, Cee Lo, Cat Power, Rufus Wainwright, Idina Menzel, Ben Platt, Herbie Hancock, Tracey Thorn, Heart, Beth Orton, Rita Wilson, 98 Degrees, the cast of “Glee”, the cast of “Nashville” and, of course, Brandi Carlile, who did full concerts of the entire “Blue” album. “.
“’River’ expresses regret at the end of a relationship… but it’s also about being alone around Christmas time,” Mitchell said in a statement accompanying the video’s release. “A Christmas song for people who feel lonely at Christmas!” We need a song like this.
Mitchell was just seen on TV last week celebrating at the Kennedy Center Honors, and she will be celebrated again at the 2022 MusiCares Person of the Year dinner on January 29. The latter event will feature performances by Carlile, Taylor, Hancock, Jon Baptiste, Black Pumas, Leon Bridges, Mickey Guyton, Graham Nash and Maggie Rogers.
The latest in a series of sets chronicling his career, “Archives Vol. 2 (The Reprise Years 1968-1971)”, was released this fall. The first volume in the series, covering the period 1963-67, is currently in the running. for a Grammy for best historical album.