The Wonder Years find parallels between Philly and Japan in the “Raining in Kyoto” video

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The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years | photo by Jonathan Weiner | courtesy of the artist

The Wonder Years‘ new album Sister Cities is built around the idea of human connection. It’s only fitting, then, that the band would continue this theme on film. The Wonder Years have shared a video for the track “Raining in Kyoto,” the opening track off Sister Cities, and one of the most personal songs on the new record.

“Raining in Kyoto” reflects on the death of vocalist/songwriter Dan Campbell’s grandfather, who passed away when The Wonder Years were on tour in Japan. Unable to attend the service, Campbell had to find a different way to pay tribute to his grandfather — on the song, he sings “Raining in Kyoto, I’m starting to shake / They’ll hold a service tomorrow, I’m an ocean away.”

The video’s director Josh Coll expands on this idea of being an ocean away by alternating footage shot in Japan and in Philadelphia (hi, Federal Donuts). Scenes of everyday life and portraits of each location’s people paint a picture of a world that doesn’t seem so big, after all. “You’re half awake / And I bought you a radio to play the blues away,” sings Campbell in the chorus, the song’s sadness and desperation soothed by the accompanying footage of a world connected by humanity.

Watch the video below. Sister Cities is out now, and The Wonder Years will play two nights at The Fillmore on June 8 and 9 — the first show is sold out, but the second still has some tickets available. Find more information on the XPN Concert Calendar, and listen to the band’s recent Key Studio Session here.

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