BlackBook Premiere: Actress Abigail Spencer Dances Away the Anxiety in New Cinders Video for ‘Afternoon’

Having been so unnaturally cooped up these past fourteen months, and all the while as sickness, death and socio-political enmity unfold all around us, there’s hardly ever been a greater exigency for physical and emotional catharsis. And so it’s likely that music has never played so urgent a role in our lives, as its very cathartic qualities may just contain the seeds of our psychological salvation.

Salt Lake City indie poppers Cinders and director Josh Radnor surely recognized this urgency, and undertook to make a video – which BlackBook premieres here – for new single ‘Afternoon’ that is practically a how-to of effective ecstatic release. In it, actress Abigail Spencer (whose had starring roles in Rectify, Mad Men, Timeless, Suits, and Grey’s Anatomy), somberly clad in black and just getting through her dishes-doing drudgery, witnesses another version of herself dancing past the window in a flowing, bright yellow dress…and then commences a counter dance indoors, perhaps in hopes of someway connecting the two halves of her COVID-fatigued psyche.

Singer Montana Smith, whose voice recalls Chris Martin’s ability to sound both world weary and exhilarated at once, provides the lyrical/philosophical accompaniment:

“Just like the afternoon
I’m brighter now, but I understand the glow
That comes with the setting sun”

Actor-director and fellow musician Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) was actually approached by the band knowing that he was already a fan – having tweeted enthusiastically about their track ‘Last Year’s Winter’ in 2016. And Spencer, as it turns out, was once training to become a professional dancer, under her legendary mentor Ann Reinking (who passed away from heart failure last December), before switching over to acting.

“I loved the track and immediately said yes,” Radnor recalls of his first listen to ‘Afternoon.’ “Abby and I were both doing a decent amount of dancing in our homes throughout the pandemic as a way to shake off the stress, confusion, and fear that were an inescapable part of this past year. I played the song for her and she immediately thought of life in quarantine, dancing in our kitchens. So we crafted the video around a woman, alone in a house, dancing to save her life, to reconnect with her body, her spirit, and the world.”

And as we move towards the light at the end of this long pandemic tunnel, “reconnection” does indeed sound like the only sensible strategy.

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