Published on August 15th, 2022 | by Dr. Jerry Doby0
Sean Della Croce Weighs in on Video for Single ‘Rebecca Henry’
Sean Della Croce begins her video for “Rebecca Henry” in a beautiful blur. She’s present and radiant — we can see the tilt of her head and the movement of her hands, and the balance and poise in her posture, but she isn’t yet in focus. What’s more, the name of the title character is superimposed in white knockout letters over her face. Rebecca Henry dominates the foreground; Della Croce is in the background, gathering herself against a green wall.
But once she begins to sing, everything changes. The image becomes crisp, and deep empathy, longing, and concern are apparent on the folk-pop singer-songwriter’s face. In gentle but trenchant lines, laid carefully before the listener like flagstones on a forest path, Sean Della Croce gives us a portrait of Rebecca Henry. The intensity of her performance and the acuteness of her observation makes her affection palpable. This is indeed a chronicle of budding love, but it’s also a song about the pleasures and dangers of being seen — the thrill of apprehension in detail and color and the pain that comes when the object of your desire can’t return your recognition.
That’s a lot to fit into a three-minute folk song. But Sean Della Croce is a specialist in succinct, descriptive language. She knows how to make every verse a deep repository of meaning: sometimes through crystal-clarity and sometimes through artful ambiguity. Champions of nuanced songwriting have noticed, and Della Croce’s compositions have been praised by critics at American Songwriter, Ear to the Ground, Audiostraddle, and other websites. She’s also earned the respect of her Nashville peers, including the legendary Vince Gill, who called her performances compelling, Hall of Famer Gretchen Peters, who deemed Illuminations, her album, unmissable, and the great storyteller Janis Ian, her forerunner, who dubbed her “one of the best young singer-songwriters I’ve heard.”
There’s something hushed and solitary about Brett Price and Connor Carroll’s beautiful clip for “Rebecca Henry,” but Sean Della Croce isn’t alone in it. There’s another woman here, too: a photographer with an antique camera. She’s here to capture Sean Della Croce’s image, but her attention to her subject feels somewhat less than total. She’s a bit distant, maybe a bit flirty, a bit of a mystery, a riddle on the verge of coalescing into something deeper and more meaningful. If Della Croce does manage to know her photographer better, and if her photographer returns the favor, how will that alter the relationship? We can’t know. But we’re given some delicious hints.
How has your background at the Liverpool Institute for Performing arts and experience as a graduate of Belmont University prepared you for the music industry, and the creation of songs like “Rebecca Henry”?
I am a big believer in arts education and I think that it behooves any musician to spend time studying their craft at the highest level possible. Not only did I get the chance to meet artists who shaped my musical skills, but I also met lifelong friends and collaborators with whom I still work and keep in touch. My experiences in university formed me as an artist, but the brilliant people around me did most of that work.
Do you believe the music scene in Nashville and your parents’ involvement in it motivated you to enter the industry yourself? Were you creating music from a young age?
Absolutely! Growing up in Nashville, there was a great appreciation for musicians and song craft, so as I came of age and had a desire to express myself, the outlet of songwriting was the obvious choice.
How would you describe your musical style and genre? Do you find your own music reflects some of your musical/ artistic inspirations?
I think it’s fair to say that I am deeply shaped by Folk music and Americana/Country songwriters. The modern iteration of Americana seems like the best fit for what I do these days, but I was hugely influenced by artists like Ben Howard, Arctic Monkeys, Feist, and Brandi Carlile alongside writers like James Taylor and Lori McKenna.
Can you share what your writing process is like? How do you form your lyrics and where do you tend to draw inspiration from?
I find that my best writing is done in a flow state. This means that I reach an emotional tipping point where the lyric and chord progressions that emerge aren’t the result of conscious choice, but intuitive discovery. Of course, sitting down to write is a worthwhile practice, but my best songs arrive all at once.
What do you hope listeners take away from “Rebecca Henry”? What was your intention behind this track’s message?
I want listeners to feel accompanied by my dorky, desperate desire in this song. Everyone has a “Rebecca Henry” whether it’s a person or a dream they’re afraid to chase after. The beauty lies in the mystery of the unknown.
The music video is stunning! Can you explain the process of forming the visual concept and shooting the video?
I worked with my old friend Brett Price to develop the concept. We wanted the character to be a visual artist of some sort, and when Laura Partain (the incredible photographer in the video) agreed to come on board, everything came together. The video definitely plays with themes of perspective and longing.
Would you like to share any information on upcoming plans or projects with your audience?
I am excited to embark on a tour of Germany in September of this year. I’ve been working on a collaboration with my good friend Judith Beckedorf, who is an incredible performer and guitar player, so we’re releasing some music and playing a bunch of dates in her home country.