Video Premiere: Frames – “Stay”

Posted: by The Editor

Sarah Phung of Frames writes the kind of honest music that is up front and unapologetic. With her new single, “Stay,” her vulnerability for love and distance is exposed in the most enticing, cozy way. In the video she filmed for the Cursed track, she brings that sense of longing and romance, and ultimately, choice.

Whether she’s twirling phone cords or observing from a window, Sarah has captured the essence of struggle and longing in a long distance relationship. The video directed by Hunter Siede captures the exact feelings to match the tone of Sarah’s undefinable sound.

Check out the video for “Stay” below:

Sarah shared the details of writing, filming, and her intentions with “Stay” with us. Hear from Sarah herself in the Q&A:

Tell us about your songwriting process for “Stay.” How did you put this track together?

I wrote “Stay” in March, 2018,  and it was a spring fling song about someone I was talking to in England. It was the first time I had a hard crush since my last relationship that ended a year before. I still have the voice memo I made when I had just finished writing it, and then sometime that year I came home drunk and both my roommates weren’t home so I pulled out the ol’ Garage Band and hit record. I programmed a drum loop that I later found out was accidentally left handed. I also later found out that my guitar was tuned in the wrong hz, I don’t know if that should be embarrassing or impressive. When I recorded with Levi, he translated the software drums into live drums (and left hand orientation) beautifully and I demanded that we keep the “telephone” vocal effect that I used on my demo.

What was it like for you to film “Stay?” How long did it take, and who all was involved?

I was listening to a lot of Now, Now, Frankie Cosmos, and Bad Bad Hats among other bedroom pop names. I wanted it to be a song you could make your alarm, or play with the windows down while you’re in bumper to bumper traffic and fantasizing about not being in that, or in the shower. It was important that the song was taken as lighthearted instead of too seriously, so filming in a house and being in pajamas for part of it was perfect.

Filming took 6 hours, with a crew of 5 people; Hunter Siede was the director; Shane Scherholz, executive producer; Rick Cook, director of photography; Dan White, gaffer; and Pen, first assistant camera. It was an intimate setting but since it was my first time being on camera, it was good to be around some people I already knew.

What was your favorite moment to film?

All of the different outfits and locations were fun so it’s hard to pick what felt like my favorite but I guess the takes later in the day when I became more familiar with the camera (and some booze). There’s a part where I’m laying on a bed in pajamas singing into my retro phone (that was plugged into nothing, I either tucked it somewhere out of sight or had someone hold the end) and I’m bunching up the cord and making some crazy expressions. Even though only a small part of that made the final cut, it was an intense part of the song. It’s the bridge where I talk about how I can’t stop thinking about this person and I’m going apeshit over my emotions, nuts-over-ass infatuated, so much that it’s out of character, and the only way to express that was to ruin this telephone cord.

How does “Stay” fit into your latest release, Cursed?

I think especially with it being my first single and first video, it is the nucleus of the record. It’s the one that ties every other song together, because each song is in such a wildly different phase of the story, “Stay” is the starting point of an emotionally turbulent, choose-your-own-adventure except no matter which direction you go you will get your feelings hurt. Someone leaves, someone lets you down, someone doesn’t reciprocate love, etc. But at least while you listen to the song or watch the video, hopefully you will feel blissful and in a suspended reality and want to stay there.

What would you like your listeners to get out of the song and video for “Stay?”

I don’t think it’s really up to me how people will feel about or respond to the song and video. I know what the song means to me, I know what the video means to me, and I did the best I could to write out the angsty and romantic chaos that was my brain at that time.

The only thing that I really want people to know is that when you feel this way about somebody, whether you plan to pursue it or not, it’s okay to indulge in that feeling a little bit. You’re allowed to feel good sometimes, even temporarily. For how heartache-y the song is, I didn’t want to date this person and I wasn’t in love. When I say, “I’m not afraid of loving you” I think it was more of a threat than anything, like I’m NOT afraid of loving you and I WON’T be broken if you suddenly disappeared, I am just going to feel how I feel all on my own and that’s perfectly normal.

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Amanda Starling | @starlingaj

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