Between Keaton Henson’s absolutely wrenching video for “Small Hands” last spring and now the new one from Iron and Wine, a pattern has begun to emerge. Apparently, any video with a stop-motion woodland setting will henceforth be a surefire harbinger of tears–though in this case, it’s more from sweetness than sadness.
“Joy” is the latest single from the ever-evolving artist’s fifth album, Ghost on Ghost. Directed by Hayley Morris, the video illustrates how the woman in singer-songwriter Sam Beam’s life is giving him the titular emotion by having her image appear inside rocks, plants, and other objects scattered around the forest.
More striking than the visual metaphor of seeing someone you’re in love with everywhere you look, though, is the way it is rendered here. Morris hand-painted watercolor illustrations of a woman and projected them into stop-motion woodscapes. The result is a lush mix of mediums that amplifies the simple, earnest beauty of the song that inspired it.
Watch a behind-the-scenes making-of video below.