Ice Melting in the Back of a Pickup Truck (Short Film Premiere)

by Steven Spoerl


Back towards the beginning of the year, this site ran a slightly overdue feature on Ben Seretan’s exquisite self-titled record. With Ben Seretan‘s breathtaking scope and sprawling ambition, it wouldn’t have been much of a surprise if the songwriter had taken a hiatus. Instead, Seretan’s subverted expectations and teamed up with Seattle musician Jesse Hughey for an official collaborative release. The two had previously met at a show in Alaska where they performed their songs on a flooded golf course while those in attendance danced on overlaying sheets of plastic. Afterwards, they kept in touch and began forming what would become “Ice Melting in the Back of a Pickup Truck” by passing demos to each other via email.

To add a sense of place to the proceedings, Seretan began editing both his footage and Nico Hadley’s footage together from a 2014-15 tour. The final result feels less like a music video and more like a short film, especially when taking the 19 minute run-time into account. Every frame comes across as considered, intending to evoke a sense of wonderment at the melancholic landscape that likely served as a strong inspirational factor for this collaboration. There’s no real narrative through line to speak of other than an tantalizing, subdued sense of exploration yet the imagery still manages to feel deeply intuitive. Even when the focus shifts from bleary landscapes to more vibrant scenery, it never loses its meditative pacing. Paired with the track itself, a smoldering ambient piece that continuously unfurls into appropriately cinematic places. It’s a hypnotic, expressive, and strangely moving piece of filmmaking that may make you wind up pining for a very certain kind of day.

Watch Ice Melting in the Back of a Pickup Truck below.