The Seattle band Ephrata know a little something about the value of contradiction. “Say a Prayer,” the group’s latest single, is a gorgeous, sun-kissed pop song with the kind of rich, layered harmonies and twinkling guitars that characterize the best Zombies songs. Its lyrics consist solely of the song’s title, repeated over and over, sounding a little more graceful and elegant each time.
So what do they choose to accompany a song of such unrelenting loveliness? A video of an argument between a boyfriend and girlfriend that starts comically (her jumping on the kitchen table, him trying to eat an ice cream sundae, both of them yelling at each other) and escalates gradually to proportions that are both more destructive, more hilarious and more hilariously destructive. The two elements work perfectly together: The song floats angelically along, practically winking as the lovers yell, smash records, tumble into bed to the requisite five-minute makeup, and then resume arguing with even more violent force. It’s clever without being jokey, an indication of the band’s smarts and skill (both of which are also on display in their SXSW Tour Diary).