Hailey Wojcik has a knack for zeroing in on moments in a relationship, reducing them to their cores, then brutally analyzing their flaws. With her feral intensity, and likely influenced by being raised by zookeepers, she frequently uses the animal kingdom as lyrical fodder in mining the depths of human frailty and complexity. In the new DIY video for “Dog V. Man”, this proclivity is given visual representation in the stop-motion characters personifying a crumbling romance amid cute animal videos. This contrast also serves to approximate the wry humor Wojcik often brings to her tunes.
“Since the song’s lyrics include a lot of dog imagery, I decided to crowdsource dog videos from fans to use in the video,” Wojcik said. “I got a lot of great video submissions and had a lot of fun watching them all.”
Despite the abundance of submitted videos, making a narrative out of them took some figuring out. “I wasn’t sure how to incorporate them at first, then I thought of watching viral YouTube videos of dogs (something I do a lot),” she said. “The premise of the music video is trying to capture that point in a dying relationship when all you do is drink and stare at your computers/phones together rather than actually connecting. I animated and shot it all myself and had a lot of fun making the puppets and the set.
“Doing stop-motion animation is like a Zen activity for me,” she continued. “I wanted the video to feel like a mini animated short film — the story of a relationship dying and two people changing in one another’s eyes and ultimately destroying each other. Not the cheeriest concept, but there is levity since they’re weird little puppets and of course thanks to the juxtaposition of the funny dog videos!”
“Dog V. Man” hails from Wojcik’s Book of Beasts EP, released in March on Wiener Records and available at her Bandcamp page. The Lansing-by-way-of-Brooklyn songwriter self-produced the five-track record, which features drums by Brian Viglione of the Dresden Dolls and the Violent Femmes.
Wojcik is playing a gig at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on Thursday, January 7, with spring tour dates coming soon.