Video Premiere: Brother Moses’ Cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Only Living Boy” Is a Sentimental Reflection on 2020

Indie-rock band Brother Moses covered Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Only Living Boy in New York,” and the result is a sentimental ode to living in New York City in 2020.

For many bands and artists, 2020 was poised to be an exciting year — especially for New York-based indie-rock band Brother Moses. Though the tour in support of their second LP release, Desperation Pop, unfortunately, couldn’t happen, the band was able to get together towards the end of the year and safely record a few songs, one of which is a stunningly heartfelt cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Only Living Boy In New York.”

Only Living Boy – Brother Moses

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for Brother Moses’ rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Only Living Boy in New York,” entitled “Only Living Boy.” Though all four members of Brother Moses live in New York City, 2020 didn’t exactly allow for many opportunities for them to gather together in person. Yet before the year was up, the band was able to safely get together, resulting in the February 2, 2021, single, “Hopeless // Only Living Boy,” a sweet summation of a year we never anticipated.

Tom, get your plane right on time
I know your part’ll go fine
Fly down to Mexico
And here I am
The only living boy in New York
“The Only Living Boy in New York” – Simon & Garfunkel

“When we were looking for a song to cover, ‘The Only Living Boy in New York’ felt really relatable,” says Brother Moses’ John-Lewis Anderson. “I had been in New York since the pandemic started, along with some of the other guys, and it was a really strange feeling, knowing you are so close to so many people, but feeling completely isolated. We were about to leave for tour when the pandemic hit, and we hadn’t seen each other in person since then, so it was really exciting to play together again. But, at the same time, it reminded us what all we were missing. We wanted to bring both sides of that into this song.”

Brother Moses © Christina Anderson

Joined from afar by Katie Lockhart on clarinet and Clay Helder on steel guitar, the swirl of emotions can be felt in each note of “Only Living Boy,” from the joy of playing music together to the heaviness of lost time. And, visually, the live video brings that sentiment to life with Anderson’s token animations and embellishments. Though recording together, each player is depicted in his own panel, nodding to the simultaneous togetherness and separation experienced throughout the pandemic. Additionally, clips from a life lived in 2020 are sprinkled throughout: solo subway rides, band zoom calls, cheering on NY’s essential workers from a rooftop.

Half of the time we’re gone
But we don’t know where
And we don’t know where
“The Only Living Boy in New York” – Simon & Garfunkel

As a whole, Brother Moses’ cover of “Only Living Boy” and its accompanying video sentimentally memorializes the moments we’ve shared — together and far apart — during the pandemic, thoughtfully acknowledging the joy and sadness all at once.

Watch the video for “Only Living Boy” now, exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

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Watch: “Only Living Boy” – Brother Moses

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? © Christina Anderson

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