Today, Wednesday 22nd March, American singer-songwriter and actress Alison Sudol follows up on the release of her autobiographical and intimate new album,‘Still Come The Night’, with the moving visuals for the poignant single ‘Come On Baby’.
Watch the video for ‘Come On Baby’ below.
The decision to release the video this week comes from Alison wanting to raise awareness for the Miscarriage Leave Bill which is being read in the House of Commons on Friday 24th March – introduced by Angela Crawley MP, the bill would ensure 3 days of paid bereavement leave for people who have experienced miscarriage.
“In the days following my pregnancy loss, I was physically and emotionally crushed. I was meant to be on tour when it happened, but due to the pandemic, the dates were cancelled and I was lucky enough to have time to recover at home. Most women aren’t so fortunate, and have to go into work despite their tremendous emotional and physical grief. This bill would at least provide a small buffer in a difficult time, as well as an acknowledgment of the gravity of the loss. I deeply hope the UK government will recognise this need and act accordingly.”
Written and directed by Welsh actor and director Tom Cullen, the visuals are permeated by the disarming honesty and integrity both Alison and Tom share as artists. Transforming their own pain into beauty, Alison and Tom created a piece of art that transmutes their trauma into a healing experience.
“It was deeply meaningful when she asked me to write and direct the video for ‘Come on Baby’” says Tom. “It’s a searing, raw and deeply moving song.”
“The song addresses the night the miscarriage happened as directly as I could,” explains Alison. “I needed to face it head on. It’s what the whole album is centred around.”
Created out of that shared grief, the video offered an opportunity for catharsis.
“It was both a memorial for our lost baby and also offered the chance to create the most literal visual representation of the album together. We did this in the hope that in doing so we might reach others who have been through the same experience” explains Tom.
Using Pina Bausch’s visceral dances as inspiration for the physicality of grief and miscarriage, Tom imagined two timelines; the first being the reality of their situation and the second, a metaphorical journey in which Alison attempts to escape it. She runs through the wilderness until she reaches the mountain peak where she can finally let her pain break loose. Simultaneously, in the real-life timeline, Alison dissociates. Her partner, unable to reach her, is kept at a distance; isolated, struggling with his own loss and unable to comfort her. Ultimately, he meets her at the top of the mountain, breaking through the barrier of aloneness. She can finally see him, see that he’s right there. This is their pain to share.
Don’t forget me, I’m still here
We came this close together.
“Shooting the video was challenging for many reasons, but was also one of the most remarkable experiences of my life,” says Tom. “We shot in a short time in difficult conditions, with a skeleton crew of mostly strangers. But within hours, with the help of Ali’s extraordinary and brave performance, we became a family, all working towards the goal of telling this story with the honesty and love it deserved.”
“Making this video with Tom meant there was nowhere to hide. It was important to both of us that it would be faithful to what we experienced, for ourselves of course, but also for anyone that has ever gone through this or something similar,” says Alison. “As much as I wanted to fight feeling all the feelings it was pushing to the surface, I knew that anything Tom would make would be beautiful and moving. I had to relinquish control, and had to trust that he would catch me if I fell. Afterwards, although I was raw and exhausted, I felt a sense of space in my body where before there had been numbness. Dance is such a powerful tool; it’s ancient and innate. We need it, like we need to sing, to honour and allow our feelings to flow through us rather than keeping them in, where they eventually harden, calcify. Some part of me knows this, and yet I don’t think I would have done it without this video. It was a gift to have the reason and the space to dance this loss. It let my grief move.”
Alison points to the vast weight of grief that people have carried these past few years: isolation, fear, sadness, illness, loss, and the ensuing rush to resume to normal life, without the opportunity to process it all. This is a song and album for us all to listen to and connect with, one that’s open, giving and full of emotion.
The album ‘Still Come The Night’ is out now via Kartel Music Group.
FOR ANYONE WHO HAS SUFFERED MISCARRIAGE AND NEEDS SUPPORT PLEASE VISIT THE MISCARRIAGE ASSOCIATION.
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Photo – Alison Sudol. Photo Credit: Angela Kohler