There’s been nothing fun about our global predicament in 2020. Nevertheless, the worldwide health crisis has given us a rare opportunity for collective reflection about the things we share — like dancing, for instance. Stuck at home, thousands upon thousands of dancers have taken to the Internet posting footage of themselves in action, and, in so doing, they’ve proven that amateurs can become stars – if they’ve got the right moves, of course.
It helps to have an irresistible song. It’s all the better if that song carries a message of unity and compassion. “A Little Bit Of Love,” the latest single from Nashville pop-rock singer-songwriter Kate Tucker, starts shaking from its very first measures and never lets up. It’s exactly the sort of track that elicits spontaneous social media challenges and impromptu bedroom dance parties. It’s also a declaration of optimism in hard times and maybe even a road-map for survival. A little love, Tucker assures us, goes a long, long way. Given what we’ve all seen over the past eight months – the heroic interventions made by everyday people – who among us could dispute that?
For Tucker, who has been called “one of Nashville’s indie music gems” by the Music City press, speaking plain truth comes naturally. Practical Sadness, her acclaimed 2018 album, is a set of songs of uncommon frankness – honest, powerful stories that wrestle with loss, and longing, and the complicated experience of being human. Tucker can sing about everyday experiences without ever sounding reductive. She’s distinguished by her eye for telling detail and her knack for succinct turns of phrase; her writing may be sophisticated, but her characters are always sympathetic, identifiable, and real.
The clip for “A Little Bit Of Love” extends her affection for ordinary people. When a stay-at-home order shut down a cinematography class at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, an idea was born. What if a little bit of love could go a long way, carried by the collaborative energy of a handful of film and creative arts students working their six degrees of separation across the planet. With a green light from Tucker, the call went out — friends and loved ones with a camera or smartphone willing to follow some remote direction, show us where you are and what it looks like outside your window. The word caught on and soon people were dancing in Nigeria, Israel, Australia, Brazil… Everybody knew somebody and within a few short weeks, footage was pouring in from over 50 people across 5 continents, all connected to someone on the project.
The video gathers footage of these dancers, some brilliant, some awkward and endearing, all getting down to the song. Signs of quarantine are everywhere – deserted city streets, crowded homes with a lived-in feel, the letter-boxed windows of TikTok juxtaposed with the glossy shots of those accustomed to home broadcasting, a distinctive kind of claustrophobia that everybody who has lived through 2020 will always remember well – but these amateurs are undefeated. They’re inspired by the rhythms and Tucker’s words. They’ve got energy to burn, and creativity and personality to express, and the long and debilitating effects of isolation to shake off. Every one of them is an inspiration and an encouragement to the viewer to find their own steps – no matter how hard times get.