The music video for Lanue’s “What I Love the Most” captures honey-soaked scenes in the height of Duluth’s summer. A cinematic color palette seeps through scenes of the artist immersed in flourishing greenery and a perfectly still Lake Superior in an endless golden hour. “What I Love the Most” was the first single Lanue, Sarah Krueger, released under the project’s name and it features Krueger’s vocals drifting atop a twangy pedal steel guitar. The video was directed and filmed by Zoe Prinds-Flash and edited by Lauren Josephine.
“I had worked with Zoe Prinds-Flash in the past for portraiture and this was her first time doing video work,” Krueger said. “I wanted to work with her for this project because I trusted her vision and I’m comfortable with her.”
The pair filmed alone, crafting the intimate world displayed in the video over the course of two days of shooting. The two primary locations seen in the video, Krueger’s garden and Park Point Beach in Duluth, were chosen with great intention relating back to the overall theme of the song.
“The inspiration for this song falls into this idea of harboring resentment for the the things you hold closest,” Krueger said. “During the past year especially I think people have felt that way about their spaces. I think it’s important to recognize that we can contain those multitudes and seemingly contradictory sentiments.”
Sarah Krueger had been making music under her own name, but after a seven year break between releases, she felt it was time to adopt a new moniker — one that was more encompassing of the project as a whole beyond herself as an individual. The self-titled album was released on March 2; the name “Lanue” was inspired by a poem by Alan Seeger.
“I had this collection of poems most of my adult life, I picked it up in my early twenties from a thrift store,” Krueger said. “I’d pick it up and page through it from time to time. The imagery in the poem ‘La Nue’ always stood out to me.”
The poem’s rich imagery is well suited to the visual world crafted in “What I Love the Most.” In the poem, Seeger writes about “echoes in endless, variant harmonies” and “grey afternoons with bits of tenderness blue,” phrases that feel natural in the visible appreciation for nature in the video. The presence of this work underscoring years of her life heightened Krueger’s appreciation for the poem.
“I liked the idea of a text changing over time,” Krueger said. “That’s kind go what happens with songs. The meaning of a song is ultimately whatever the listener decides it is as that is always moving.”
When she’s not making music or tending to the lush garden featured in the music video, Krueger is also a curator of vintage clothing, a skill that added another layer of depth to the video.
“To me, clothing and styling is such a creative process and I like thinking about how I can convey a message and tone through wardrobe,” Krueger said. “This song has a very country twang to it but I don’t feel like the whole record is a country record, so I wanted to communicate some of the more ethereal side of the music through the visuals, like with that gauzy dress.”
Krueger gathered a group of musicians including Sean Carey (S. Carey, Bon Iver) and JT Bates (The Pines, Taylor Swift, Erik Koskinen) to record Lanue at Hive studios in Eau Claire. The recording took place over the course of two sessions, one in the beginnings of winter and the other in the summer. True to the thoughtful attention to the outdoors displayed in the video, the seasonal differences between the sessions offered a unique perspective for the recording process.
“The winter session was very intimate and cozy, it ended up taking place during the first snowfall in Eau Claire. The June session had a certain freshness, it felt upbeat. The collaboration really flowed effortlessly,” Krueger said. “It wasn’t intentional, but looking back the album has a strong sense of season.”