How many times have we made fools of ourselves vying for someone’s affection? Harry Nathan set out to answer this question with a wavy new single named “Fool For Your Love.” Released May 3, the song sees the dream-pop savant crafting an ethereal, trumpet-laden soundscape lush with longing. The video for the minimalist song is directed by his best friend, 22-year-old Israeli actress Odeya Rush. The pair have been partners in collaboration since the Dumplin’ star, who’s also appeared in Greta Gertwig’s Lady Bird and has acted alongside Meryl Streep and Larry David in the past, directed Nathan’s video for piano-driven surf pop track “Rooftops” last year.
In the sweet new animated video for “Fool For Your Love,” premiering exclusively on Billboard, Rush and Nathan tell the tale of the imaginary outer space trek of a young boy named Scooter. Escaping into fantasy to get away from the expectations of his dad, the whimsical clip sees our young hero venture through a textured landscape replete with stardust, aliens and omelets. As our young hero seeks interstellar affections, he realizes the love he had was in front of him all along — be it romantic or familial.
Billboard caught up with Rush and Nathan to talk about the making of “Fool For Your Love,” their past and future collaborations, and what’s coming down the pipeline for the young creatives. One thing’s for sure: not even the depths of space are out of reach.
I read that you two are best friends — how has the experience of creating art with someone so close to you been like, especially coming from different practices?
Odeya Rush: We trust each other’s taste and creative choices but are also comfortable enough to be direct. Also, Harry is Greek and I’m Israeli — we’re both Mediterranean, so our mutual love of feta is probably what makes our bond so strong.
Harry Nathan: We also have similar tastes that gravitate toward the nostalgic and eclectic. It reminds us of an organic time before this hectic digital world.
How have both of you grown since “Rooftops,” as a director and as a musician, respectively?
OR: It’s interesting how since Rooftops we’ve started to trust our taste more and also learned to rely on less people. “Rooftops” was a crew of 40, “Fool For Your Love” was about five, and the last video was just our close friends in Harry’s kitchen, with me filming the whole thing. These days we have a lot more confidence in being able to execute our vision by ourselves and keep the team small.
HN: Odeya nailed it here!
Tell me about “Fool For Your Love,” from both a visual storytelling perspective and a songwriter’s perspective.
OR: “Fool For Your Love” is a journey into the imagination of a young boy named Scooter. He has pressure from his father to be a certain way, and Scooter is just not that way. Although Scooter’s father may not fully understand his son, there is a bond between family that can never be broken.
HN: I was in Mykonos, falling super hard. I needed to submit a song for Berklee homework that night, so I recorded the vocals into the mic of those white Apple headphones. When I got back to L.A., I was working on the song and Ryan [Lee] walks in to my apartment and starts talking into my microphone, not knowing it was recording. It landed perfectly in the outro.
The song itself speaks to a more romantic kind of love but contextualized in the video it explores familial love and that struggle between a parent trying to understand their kid. Can you speak more to the way the song relates to the visuals?
OR: We didn’t want to do a traditional love story, we wanted to go deeper and explore the idea that love exists in our most valuable relationships, and our lives and self-worth can be molded by those closest to us. At the end of the story, I want the audience to sympathize with the father. Even though he’s not loving Scooter the way he wants to be loved, with hugs or encouraging words, he’s trying his best in his own way and we can all appreciate our parents for trying in the best way they know how.
That shot of the protagonist opening the door to reveal a black hole and diving straight in is so beautiful, and it’s brave seeing him dive into the unknown like that. The song grapples with this too — when we become a fool for love, how does that translate? Is it diving into a black hole? Is it something else?
HN: Scooter is a fool for love because he thinks he will be fulfilled by receiving adoration from the creatures in his mind, but after spending some time on their planet, he realizes that he already has the love he needs.
The story told in the video is relatable and sweet, but with that element of fantasy so many kids in the protagonist’s situation use to leave their reality. Where did the concept come about?
OR: Since moving to L.A., I’ve witnessed many cases of the “stage parent.” Parents who push their kids to fulfill their personal dreams. Scooter’s case is flipped. I wanted to show an artistic young boy who wants to be by himself in his room instead of outside winning at sports. I think many kids can relate to this and especially young boys who are more connected to their artistic side and not as athletic.
Why let the young protagonist roam outer space specifically? I was getting The Little Prince vibes.
HN: Scooter is the inner child in all of us, wanting to explore the most interesting parts of his imagination and create a new reality for himself. He believes he can escape to a different world, and as such a black hole opens for him. Belief is very powerful, what we believe creates our reality. Also space is really fucking cool.
Is the song a part of a larger project? Do you guys have any other collaborations in the works?
HN: The song is a part of an EP titled Songs About Dreams About Her. Each song lives in its own world yet all the stories are set in the same alternate universe.
OR: We also just shot a music video in Harry’s kitchen about a sandwich that magically comes to life and falls in love with a croissant. Bon Appetit!
What do you hope this song (and video) convey to viewers and listeners? Is it a message of hope?
OR and HN: The message is that everyone loves differently and that’s okay.