Jeff Carl Digs Up Past Heartbreak in 'Buried in New York' Video: Watch

Matthew Simmons
Jeff Carl

When Nashville singer-songwriter Jeff Carl discusses the creative process that animated the gorgeous music video for his latest single “Buried in New York,” out today (Oct. 4), he says he wanted the video to reflect his losses as accurately as possible.

“I moved to Nashville from New York after my relationship crumbled, to put horse-blinders on and focus on my music again, but I also was freshly single and definitely spent my first year enjoying that, sleeping around, and keeping excessively busy,” Carl tells Billboard. “That lasted right up until my emotions finally caught up with me, when I realized I had not fully processed the breakup.”

“Buried in New York” draws from a legacy of cinematic, star-gazing synth pop from the past and present, spanning the twinkly modern-pop sound of Troye Sivan and the grandiose feel of Explosions in the Sky.

Carl returned to New York, he tells Billboard, because his two brothers -- who served as director and director of photography for the video -- live and work in the city. Given the tight (or as he jokes, “virtually invisible") budget he was constrained with, the familial contributions he received helped considerably.

But, more importantly, the process of shooting for "Buried in New York" functioned as a healing period, the experience of having to rummage through his own heartbreak helping him grieve a breakup that he couldn't yet process.

“Thought I buried you,” he sings dejectedly on the song, a plea that shapeshifts into something of a mantra. 

In the video, he revisits the sites of his heartbreaks — the bedrooms, the rooftop parties, and the clubs — where he fell in and out of love, as if he were a specter examining the most painful memories and defusing the sadness that comes with them. His memories are lit with stark, dramatic lighting, inspired by the brightly-colored, desolate aesthetics of Spring Breakers and Blade Runner. In going back, he’s marching on without the losses of his past holding him back. 

“It was about not running anymore and facing the heartache…not so you could get [it] back, but so you could let go and move on,” he says.

Watch the stunning video below.

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