Premiere: Freedy Johnston Shares Video for New Track “Darlin’” feat. Aimee Mann

Sep 28, 2022

By Caleb Campbell

Photography by Dina Regine


Earlier this month, veteran singer/songwriter Freedy Johnston shared his first record in seven years, Back On The Road To You. Though he’s been relatively quiet for years now, the record once again delivered on the stellar songwriting that made him a cult treasure in the ‘90s, offering a series of highlights including “Darlin’,” one of the album’s standout cuts. Today, Johnston is back with the accompanying video for “Darlin’,” premiering with Under the Radar.

Musically, “Darlin’,” is one of the more warm and winsome efforts on the record, carried by chiming sun-lit guitars, Doug Pettibone’s keening pedal steel, and Johnston’s plaintive vocal talents. The track also features gorgeous vocal harmonies, courtesy of Amiee Mann, who also has brought the track to life with a series of drawings for the accompanying video. While the track’s lyrics hint toward a deep loss underlying its charming melodies, Mann’s drawings evoke both tragedy and resilient hope, encapsulating the track’s themes in a moving story.

Johnston says of the video, “Aimee Mann is just awesome. First, she sang with me on Darlin’, then she did a series of drawings interpreting the sad, little song which were edited into a video and which add greatly to the story. The beautiful video they made is too much for me to watch without shedding tears. The drawings are beautiful. They’re what I imagine when I think about the song now. Aimee is a great artist and I love her.”

Mann continues, saying of the track and video, “I’ve been a fan of Freedy’s for years and was very excited to hear that he had a new record coming out. A mutual friend off-handedly suggested I draw some cartoons for a video because he knew I’d been posting cartoons on Instagram. At first, it seemed like an impossible task, but as I listened back to the song, I made notes and sketches, Freedy had also told me what he felt the subtext of the song was so that informed the images. Some friends recommended a great editor, Faye Kahn, who could put it all these cartoons together in a cohesive form. Her movement and pacing really adds a lot.”

Check out the song and video below. Back On The Road To You is out everywhere now. Stream the record here.

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