Numerous ancient cultures had, as part of their coming of age ceremonies, a requirement that young adults venture into the surrounding woods alone and unaccompanied. Much of this rite of passage had to do with finding yourself: Learning more about the person inside of you, and how that being interacted with the natural world. While Jeff Beam is by no means a member of such ancient cultures, the Portland singer/songwriter’s “Something Came From Nothing” video depicts a familiar spiritual quest through the woods, reflecting a universal human drive to understand ourselves through connecting with nature.
Twenty more days until they
cut me off from myself
Twenty more years until I’m
never born no more
Twenty-mile highway gonna
take me back, me alone
Twenty more times until I
never go back inside
Where anyone can hide
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Something Came From Nothing,” the titular single from Jeff Beam’s latest EP (released November 1, 2017). Making what he describes as “melodic music tinged with kaleidoscopic soundscapes,” Mainer Jeff Beam offers an enriching blend of folk and psychedelic influence that feels at home amongst so-called “progressive” records from the ’70s. “Something Came From Nothing” is heavily reflective of Neil Young, finding Beam balancing his own higher, sweet singing voice against subdued electric guitars offering southern rock-styled riff sequence.
“I wrote this about 5 years ago, on the cusp of turning 25. [It’s] kind of a fun hallucinatory quarter-life existential crisis,” Jeff Beam says of “Something Came From Nothing.” “But I think it generally applies to taking the time to get to know yourself as a person, getting comfortable in your own skin, and using the past, present, and future as a compass for the experience.”
Twenty four hours ’til I’m finally in the past
Twenty one years before I wish I was a kid again
Twenty four pieces for a quarter more, quarter less
Turning my mind before I think about any more
Directed by Sam Peisner with cinematography by Ezra Wolfinger, the “Something Came From Nothing” music video finds Beam trudging through the forest – noticeably clad in all red to distinguish himself from the surrounding greenery. Wandering seemingly aimlessly, Beam stumbles upon a variety of oddly-placed items – from a full stereo system, to a blue accent chair. facing a television… A television that seems to depict Beam himself, clad in white, running around a white-walled room.
Or is that merely a reflection in the tv, showing Beam what’s really going on within himself at this very moment?
Twenty more days until they cut me off from myself
Twenty more years until I’m never born no more
Twenty-mile highway gonna take me back, me alone
Twenty more times until I never go back inside
Where anyone can hide
The artist’s lyrics, all revolving in some form around his ultimate ascension to twenty-five years of age, depict a deep internal struggle for understanding. He’s trying to come to terms with who and what he feels himself to be, versus the identity dictated to and for him by society.
“You never know who you’ll run into out in the Maine woods,” Beam coyly states of his video. We’re left to ponder his sobering piece’s title, “Something Came From Nothing.” The realization that we, with all our complexities, come from a couple of cells interacting with one another, seems absurd; yet here we are, living and breathing, struggling to understand who we are and how we fit in with the world. Life is a fascinating, scary journey – one that requires from each of us a rite of passage similar to the ones our forebears performed so many years ago. We continue to look to nature for our help and guidance, sustaining a cycle that will outlive us, while hopefully giving each of us some sort of insight and peace of mind.
Stream Jeff Beam’s “Something Came From Nothing” video, exclusively on Atwood Magazine!
“Something Came From Nothing” – Jeff Beam
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📸 © Kate Beever Directed & Edited by Sam Peisner Cinematography by Ezra Wolfinger