Death isn’t the opposite of life, it’s a part of it. And like everything else in life, having a sense of humor about it makes its inevitability an easier pill to swallow. That’s why we love “Double Grave,” the new video from Nashville-based string duo Zach & Maggie.
The scene begins at a rainy graveside, the camera pans down the legs of Maggie, the mourning wife, past grass and dirt and eventually to a shot of our narrator, Zach, singing from his grave. “It’s lonely here in our double grave and it’s just like her to take her time,” he laments, and we can’t help but chuckle.
“Having an opinion on what should happen at your own funeral is a funny thought…as if being dead, our ego still needs to be stroked,” Zach explains. “While listening to a Tom Waits song about death, I pondered the petty annoyances of death in a fantasy version of the afterlife. A year later, I sat down and wrote this song. I found it humorous to allow the husband’s impatience in the grave overshadow the seriousness of his own death. What sort of neurotic behavior would we come up with if death was just an inconvenience?”
The video was shot at a friend’s farmhouse south of St. Louis with Big Forest, a production company with a comedically-minded team. “This allowed us to bounce ideas off each other while filming, Zach says. “Maggie had the idea for the remaining wife to remarry and thus explore the comedy that would ensue. By building an imaginary afterlife in a soundstage, Big Forest helped us find all the funny visual ways to communicate the deceased husband’s annoyances of being ignored.”
However, watching is only half the fun here; Zach employs his booming baritone to add a macabre tinge to the accordion-laced soundscape as he sings about creepy crawlies and rattlin’ bones. Maggie rules with the mandolin, her nimble fingerpicking adds a delightfully creepy facet to the whole, while the pair’s rich harmonies make the choruses soar. The entire sensory experience is better than a whole plastic pumpkin full of Halloween candy.
“I remember well her pretty face when we chose our final resting place. Side by side we’d be ’til the end of days, but she’s livin’ large while I’m left to decay,” the dearly departed Zach opines from the sidelines while he spies on Maggie as she moves on with her life. Just who exactly will be in that double grave at the end? You’ll just have to watch to find out.
Without further ado, Mother Church Pew proudly presents “Double Grave,” the new video from Zach & Maggie: