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First Watch: Maybird, 'Looking Back'

Courtesy of the artist

Get your hanky out. The latest song and video from Rochester-based Maybird is a real tear-jerker. Made entirely of old home movie clips, the video for "Looking Back" shows band members and brothers Adam and Josh Netsky from their earliest childhood moments, as they grow up with their older brother, Aaron, aging from scene to scene. At first they're toddlers, playing in freshly mown grass, making a snowman with their father and dancing freely together. By the end they're long-haired, skateboarding teenagers on the brink of adulthood. It's a poignant, profoundly emotional ode to childhood, fleeting youth and chasing dreams.

Maybird drummer Adam Netsky culled through dozens of VHS tapes and boxes of 8mm movies to compile the footage. "I looked for moments in between the holidays and celebrations, for vulnerable and real moments our Dad or one of us happened to capture," he tells NPR Music in an email. "We see Josh, our older brother, Aaron and I experience joy, novelty, awkwardness, creativity, familial connection and glimpses at social and musical relationships. My hope is that the video ends up being about more than what it depicts specifically and that it might offer others the opportunity to relate in small ways, and to think about how they relate to memory, their family and friends and the roots of their passions."

Maybird lead singer and guitarist Josh Netsky says he wrote "Looking Back" for anyone who's found themselves "lying in bed, unable to sleep, thinking about some bizarre and poignant moment in your past with no control over your thoughts. The thought could be about a distant relatives cat who went missing several years ago, or as personal as a relationship that ended in a mess of feelings — and who would you be now had that not happened? It's about reflection, and a sort of reflection upon reflection that pulls your heart various ways. When — however personal or mysterious or seemingly irrelevant the thought — you just get so caught up in your memories that your mind takes full control."

"Looking Back" is from Maybird's latest EP, Turning Into Water, out now on Danger Mouse's (a.k.a. Brian Burton) 30th Century Records.

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Robin Hilton is a producer and co-host of the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.