The Grammy Awards on Sunday night brought Taylor Swift a pair of victories (Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song, both for “Mean”), a memorable performance (on some sort of hillbilly junk-drawer set), and a special seat next to Little Red Riding Hood.
But that was yesterday! Today, Swift moves forward with her next chapter: The video premiere for “Safe & Sound,” her collaboration with Civil Wars that will be appearing on the soundtrack to The Hunger Games. It’s a new dimension for Swift, who seems to have fully embraced the slightly more ragged aesthetic of her collaborators (who also acquitted themselves quite nicely on Grammy night, resulting in a big sales spike for their album Barton Hollow on iTunes today).
Their spare, haunting tune is the kind of song that demands a video full of fireside glow and American Gothic overtones. Luckily, that’s exactly what the clip is: Civil Wars harmonize warmly while Swift wanders a gorgeously-rendered wasteland full of spooky abandoned wells and ungulates who turn to ash. Give it a look below.
“Safe & Sound” certainly captures the tone of The Hunger Games, which will be filled with the sort of dread that only an uninviting stretch of woods can provide. It’s a relief that Swift didn’t take the “Mean” route and equate being hunted for the bloodlust of a ruling class to being picked on by internet trolls.
The soundtrack to The Hunger Games promises to be one of the bigger musical events of the year, featuring contributions from Arcade Fire, the Decemberists, Miranda Lambert, Kid Cudi, and Swift on her own in addition to with Civil Wars.
What do you think of the “Safe & Sound” video? Let us know in the comments.