Earlier this year, Mac McCaughan released his first record under his own name, Non-Believers – a wistful collection of ten songs that finds the longtime Superchunk frontman and co-founder of Merge Records looking back on his teenage years with a melancholy air.
“On this record, the words and the music are pretty closely related. It centers around adolescence and teenhood – that awkward transitional time in everyone’s life,” he told BYT in April. “For me, that time period was the early ’80s, and the music that I associate with that time – both the music that I loved and some that I didn’t really love at time but now when I hear it, I go, ‘That’s actually kind of good’ – was intertwined when I was making this.”
“The synthesizer that starts ‘Your Hologram’ dictated this song, but it also dictated where the rest of the record was going to go,” he shared with Grayson Haver Currin. “You can’t totally tell what it is: It could be a guitar, or it could be a synthesizer. The guitar that’s on here sounds like it could be a keyboard, too. I like that combination. Lyrically, it sets the tone for the rest of the record, because it’s about music and a certain time period of your life and the idea of someone who’s making music.”
The video comes courtesy of director Emmie Tsumura, who created the images using frame-by-frame hand-drawn animation.
“My work is influenced by Chinese and Japanese ink wash painting, ukiyo-e art, and calligraphy, and, of course, the magical worlds of Hayao Miyazaki,” she tells BYT. “What stuck with me about this song was the idea of trying to access something locked away in a different time, and the heart that continues to dream in the present tense. I played with the distance between three planes of time and reality, starting with a Sharpie, and finishing nearly 1800 frames in total with digital hand-sketching to create a ‘down in the basement’ studio vibe.”
Like the rest of Non-Believers, “Your Hologram” turns into something much tougher when McCaughan performs it with Carrboro’s great Flesh Wounds – calling themselves the Non-Believers – as his backing band. Find out for yourself at the handful of tour dates below.
Mac McCaughan + the Non-Believers play 9:30 Club this Thursday with Ex Hex and Ed Schrader’s Music Beat.
Mac McCaughan + the Non-Believers Tour Dates