Ditmas

Album: Wilder Mind (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • The title of this despairing song of love and loss is a nod to the Ditmas Park area of Brooklyn. The neighborhood is home to the studio of The National's Aaron Dessner, where this track was recorded.
  • Vocalist Marcus Mumford and bassist Ted Dwayne strangely came up with the same idea for the song. Dwayne recalled to The Music.com: "That was weird because we were working in Aaron's place in Ditmas, which is in Brooklyn. I got in one morning and Marcus was playing something on guitar. We basically arrived at the studio with the same idea in our heads, which was really creepy."
  • The music video follows a Cossack taming and riding a horse spliced with footage of Mumford & Sons performing the song. The clip was shot on location near Kiev in The Ukraine by Alex Southam. The director's resume also includes clips for Alt-J ("Tessellate"), Chase & Status ("Lost & Not Found") and First Aid Kit ("Stay Gold").

    Southam explained the story behind the video: 'Whilst recently filming in Ukraine, I started doing some research and learning about Ukrainian Cossacks ' their heritage, history, and associated spiritualism," he said. "I was surprised to learn that there is a small but ardent population who keep the traditions going."

    'The narrative for Ditmas came about whilst discussing another idea for the band, when the suggestion of a cossacks were mooted," Southam continued. "Cossacks are synonymous with incredible horesemanship, so it felt like a natural fit. Our character (Evgeniy) in the video has grown up within a cossack community."

    "The video was shot in the stunning countryside surrounding Kiev which was something to behold. I spent a long time discussing our narrative and approach with Evgeniy, breaking down our narrative beat, as well as I could given the language barrier," he concluded. "Whilst the shoot was pretty brutal and unforgiving - particularly for our hero - we captured something really special."

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