With a slippery slide guitar hook and chipper bass line backing lyrics about different ways to die, plus a video full of happy kids, Anthony D’Amato’s “Good and Ready” is a smiling marvel of mixed messaging.
“Some people hear this as a love song — as in, ‘I’d rather die than live without you,’” D’Amato tells CMT Edge. “And some people hear it as a dark breakup song — as in, ‘I don’t want to wake up anymore now that you’re not here.’
“Either way, it’s tongue-in-cheek … a running list of increasingly elaborate and unlikely ways to die that all somehow seem preferable to facing the day alone.”
The New York City-based singer-songwriter recently released his second album, The Shipwreck From the Shore, which finds D’Amato fronting a full band for the first time and includes his oddly heartwarming tribute to obsession.
For the song’s video, his team thought back to their own childhoods — when your favorite things were all that mattered. They enlisted some talented kids to play a group of friends who love making movies most of all, but you might pick up on the first pangs of romantic realization, too.
“The storyline came from the Kuperman brothers, who directed the video,” D’Amato says. “I sent them the song, and they pitched this concept to me as 1,000 Ways to Die-meets-kids’-home-movies, and that was enough to sell me right there. They’re brilliant, and I think they drew a lot on their own childhoods learning to make movies and act with their friends. I could tell it was something very dear to them.
“It was really humbling to work with the kids. They were so young and so talented and so hardworking. I’d be exhausted after a couple of hours and need a lot of coaching to be in front of the camera, and they were just total pros, knocking every scene out of the park and doing 10 times the work I was.
“During lunch break one day, I remember them going around reciting stand-up routines from their favorite comedians verbatim, and it made me so happy because it reminded me of being that age and doing the same thing with my musical heroes — learning all their songs and lyrics by heart. It’s infectious being around people who are passionate about what they want to do, and it’s one of those things that totally transcend age. I hope we’re all seeing them in movies and on TV really soon.”
Check out Anthony D’Amato and his pint-sized co-stars in the video for “Good and Ready.”