Radnor & Lee are actor Josh Radnor (best known for starring in How I Met Your Mother) and veteran indie-pop singer-songwriter Ben Lee, and the duo’s new video is available to watch exclusively at Paste today. The “Be Like the Being” visual, directed by Radnor, features hand puppetry from Andrew Dawson, whose astonishingly expressive gestures are enhanced by the video’s artful use of light and shadow.
Radnor explained the genesis of the video:
I met Andy Dawson at a friend’s party where he did some of his “hand dancing.” I found it transporting and oddly moving. A few days later, Ben asked if I had any ideas for a video for “Be Like The Being” and I said, “You know what … I think I do.” I got in touch with Andy and he was game. We found a DP (Mark Vicente), blacked out the light in my living room and with a single spotlight, a skeletal crew and two cameras, we let Andy’s hands dance to our song.
“The song is, on some level, about simplicity, about knowing we have everything we need if we could just get out of our own way,” Radnor continues. “Two hands dancing ecstatically in the light seemed to me to tell that story in a really startlingly beautiful way.”
“I love what Josh did with this video,” says Lee. “We share an interest in art and performance that is truly connective and present-tense. Andrew’s performance embodies a sensitivity to simply ‘being’—what this song is all about.”
The indie-folk duo have a new self-titled album on the way, which will include a philosophical and spiritual element that some fans of Radnor & Lee may find surprising. But it’s that very shared interest in spirituality and philosophy that inspired longtime friends Radnor and Lee to make music together in the first place—their producer Ryan Dilmore has even dubbed the pair “singer-psalmwriters.”
Radnor & Lee is due out in November. Watch Radnor & Lee’s “Be Like the Being” video above, and enjoy a Lee performance from the Paste Cloud below.