By Sydney Miller, Associate Editor
Sam Rae is best known as Brandi Carlile’s cellist, but she’s got an exceptional solo career of her own. Last summer, she released her sophomore album, Ten Thousand Years, and now she’s got a top-notch music video to accompany the track “Love is Love,” premiering exclusively on Country Queer.
The music video is made up of a montage of pre-Covid footage and scenes that Sam edited together. It carries a strong message about the quiet yet sharp effects of learned masculinity in our society, how it lingers in the air like a harsh whisper, how it can affect our atmosphere on such an immense scale without ever being named.
“How is it emboldened by privilege and the color of one’s skin in our country? The answer is one that I believe we have all witnessed and possibly experienced ourselves. It is a taboo subject, most particularly the learned and innate behaviors of white men in America sewed into the ground like an old colonial seed,” Rae said. “It goes unnamed out of fear of confrontation or from insecurity that we do not have the most updated rhetoric within our grasp. Oftentimes it’s simply hard to find the right words to fully encapsulate such a vast and stagnant history. It is a difficult subject with many pages, and a single paragraph can always be argued without the context of the whole book.”
Rae’s collection of clips and images is a beautiful and haunting form of visual poetry that perfectly compliments this melancholy track.
“‘Love is Love’ reveals a collective plea to name and encourage a shift in this story and the compassion that it will take to do so,” Rae said. “The song is sung as if learned masculinity were a small and feeble creature cradled in my arms.”
Rae was also inspired by National Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s poem on Inauguration Day. These lines in particular resonated with her:
“It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit / it’s the past we step into / and how we repair it / We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation / rather than share it.”