Steel Cranes(Photo by Miakoda Collins)

Steel Cranes released one of my favorite debuts during 2013 – the wickedly heavy Ouroboros – but 2014 has been relatively quiet for the Oakland duo of Tracy Shapiro and Amanda Schukle, aside from a couple Bay Area shows. That is, until now – the band is back with a video for the lead single off that debut LP, “Boat Song”, and it’s premiering today exclusively on The Bay Bridged.

The nautically-themed video was animated by Jonny Thomas, whom Shapiro and Schukle have actually never met. “He relocated to New Orleans from the Bay Area a while back,” the latter told me over email recently. “He checks in on The Bay Bridged from time to time and he saw an article about us last year. He liked our music and contacted us out of the blue to offer to create our Fall Tour kickoff show poster, which we absolutely loved. That inspired us to approach him about doing an animated video for ‘Boat Song’.”

What’s with the video’s nautical concept? “Amanda had always had this vision of a The Wall-ish animated video of pelicans on the Oakland waterfront,” explained Schapiro. “That was pretty much all we told Jonny and the rest came from him or whatever magic turtle feeds him his ideas. He sent us clips along the way and we just loved everything he came up with.”

Thomas’ animation is good enough to make you wonder if there really is a magic turtle involved. Watch the video for “Boat Song” below:

Schukle and Schapiro kick off a three-week West Coast tour this Friday night at The Night Light. Other than that tour-opening gig in Oakland, both of them are looking forward to playing up in Seattle. The Redwood Plan, their good friends who join them for most of this tour (including at The Night Light), are Seattle-based. “They take pretty wonderful care of us up there,” Schapiro said, while Schukle added, “I’m excited to be playing a few California beach towns we haven’t played before…Santa Cruz, Eureka, and Santa Barbara!”

Get full details on Steel Cranes’ show this Friday at The Night Light in Oakland below, and check out their full list of tour dates here.

Steel Cranes, The Redwood Plan, Japanese Game Show, Tik Tok
The Night Light
May 9, 2014
9pm, $7

Steel Cranes @ The Night Light