Phillip Phillips’ new video for “Dancing With Your Shadows” dropped yesterday, March 1. “Dancing With Your Shadows” was released on February 10. It’s a moody, darker entry to Phillip’s usually more colourful video catalog.
Since his debut in 2012, Phillip Phillip has experimented freely with his songwriting, most clearly in his second album Behind the Light (2014), where he explored the many ways in which a song can be shaped. Collateral (2018), while still a rich, multi-genre album, pointed in the direction his music has been taking in more recent years, which is leaning into more to-the-point songs that deliver their message efficiently.
With “Love Like That,” released last Spring, Phillip showed he can deliver a straightforward, musically rich single in the same vein as “Raging Fire” or “Unpack Your Heart,” but in “Dancing With Your Shadows,” he goes further, achieving maximum emotional and musical impact in just under 3 minutes. In between, he showcases beautiful, honest lyrics and a new sleek musical sound. Production-wise, the song is elegant, full of shining synths and bright guitars, and maybe the most amazing sounding drums since the masterpiece that is “Fly” (2014).
In a candid Instagram Live Phillip did a couple of days after the release of “Dancing With Your Shadows,” he explained how the lyrics and subject matter of the song came to be.
“It’s a love song, but love is very broad, you can love so many types of people,” he said. However, the core of the feelings described in “Dancing With Your Shadows” is about the helplessness we feel when faced with a situation we can do little about. As he explained, the song describes a time when he was “watching [a person] go through times I couldn’t fix.” The reality, he said, is “that you can’t fix everything and that’s a hard lesson to learn. But you want to be there for them, as that’s all I can do. Sometimes silence is more powerful than saying anything,” Phillip shared.
As he has done for many of his singles, Phillip called upon his trusted writing collaborator Todd Clark, who has been working with Phillip since he contributed the massive single “Gone Gone Gone” to The World from The Side of The Moon (2012). Now on their 7th or 8th co-writing venture, Clark’s credits with Phillip include “Lead On,” “Sand Castles,” “Raging Fire,” “Fly,” “Unpack Your Heart,” and more recently, “Love Like That,” (released April 2022). The third co-writer listed is Quinn Lewis.
Other credits in the song, shared by Phillip on an Instagram post, include Jerry Roe on drums, Todd Clark on bass, guitars, vocals, and keyboards, and drum engineering by Owen Lewis. The song was produced by Todd Clark.
The video, directed by Todd Urick, is a fitting visual interpretation of the song. Using the metaphor of “dancing in the shadows” as a point of departure, the video shows Phillip, his band, and more poignantly, Phillip’s wife, Hannah, in different dark and selectively illuminated settings. Standing at the top of a set of stairs, Phillip plays guitar, the backlight darkening his figure.
Then in different black and white shots, we see Phillip and Hannah hug, share a kiss, and take refuge in the intimacy of the dim and shadowy room. The effect is bittersweet, as it’s the song musically: no matter how much Phillip may try to uplift that person–Hannah in the video–the shadows remain. A few shots of Phillip sitting on his own in another room, emphasize the anguish he may be facing in his inability to help the person he loves.
Phillip has been slowly ramping up his post-pandemic work since early last year, culminating with a short fall tour last October and now this new song taking us into Spring 2023. We hope many more news are to come soon!
Have you watched Phillip Phillips’ new video? Don’t wait, watch “Dancing With Your Shadows” on his official YouTube channel now! And visit Phillip Phillips’ official website for any upcoming music and tour news.