Life’s lemons are transformed from a cutesy childhood colloquialism into a powerful and liberating dance in Abbi Press’ new video for her single, “Butterfly Effect.” A cleansing rain falls over the wilderness of upstate NY, near Lake Minnewaska, as the opening keys and Press’ gentle vocals invite you down a path, or perhaps a hiking trail, towards rejuvenation and redemption. The visuals, directed by Jeff Mertz and Abbi Press, compliment instrumental euphoria and soulful lyricism, moving in seamless and sensual slow motion and striking close ups, like an unearthed Malick short. A faceless figure frolics in the woods while a pair of caring hands intimately prepares lemonade. They belong to Abbi, as she peers out somewhat forlornly at the lemon-eyed man for whom the drink is being made. The song echoes “here’s to hoping,” as if to dream that some of this lemonade might be hers. The aural instrumentals are long and liquid and sweeping, as deep as the forest. You feel small in them.
“After all the rain has fallen / Wash away my pain,” Press sings, and, suddenly, a pulse is introduced, as is the girl in the woods. She, too, has lemon eyes. Does she get a glass? Is this the person we’re aspiring to be? The song gains a hurried sense of desperation with its beat. We see a drenched Abbi Press in the lake, overwhelmed by life’s lemons, but, as her song iterates and reiterates, there’s hope.