EL VY (Members of the National + Menomena) Share Lyric Video for ‘Paul Is Alive’
The National frontman Matt Berninger and Menomena’s Brent Knof will drop Return to the Moon, their debut album as EL VY, at the end of the month. Ahead of that day, they have shared a lyric video for “Paul Is Alive.”
The “Paul Is Alive” video was directed by Berninger's brother, Tom, who also helmed Mistaken for Strangers, the 2014 documentary on the National and, more acutely, the brothers’ relationship. The new black-and-white clip captures Berninger, Knof and friends at a beach house, with the former going for a fully clothed swim in the ocean and flying an EL VY balloon overhead. Check it out above.
For Berninger’s part, the song is relatively familiar territory. His distinct baritone and verbose style are all there, but in a previous statement, Berninger said the EL VY record is his most autobiographical yet. “Paul Is Alive,” specifically, explores the singer-songwriter’s experience growing up in Cincinnati.
“I think ‘Paul Is Alive’ is about finally finding the water that you can breathe in, finding a place or a person that makes you feel like you,” Berninger said. “It’s very much my story of what Cincinnati was like, growing up and falling in love with music, discovering these little places where like-minded people could find each other.”
That’s no doubt reflected in the song when Berninger namechecks the now-defunct Cincinnati punk establishment the Jockey Club and recalls listening to Hüsker Dü, the Smiths, the Sluggos and the Cramps.
Return to the Moon is due out Oct. 30 on 4AD. “Paul Is Alive” follows the album’s title track, “I’m the Man to Be” and a live version of “No Time to Crank the Sun.”