The music video for “Holding On,” a new single by the Philadelphia band the War on Drugs, stars an actor fans of “The Wire” should recognize: Frankie Faison, who played Deputy Commissioner Ervin Burrell on the Baltimore-based HBO drama.
Released on Tuesday, the six-and-a-half-minute clip directed by Brett Haley follows Faison’s character through what seems like a typical day. He goes for a walk, visits a diner and plays a game of pool with guys from the neighborhood. Throughout the day, Faison’s character is warmly embraced by the townspeople he sees, many of them white.
By the end, after he poses for a Polaroid shot of himself in front of a gazebo, the implied story crystallizes: His wife, a white woman, is gone, and her widower is left to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Their tightknit community helps him through the process. It’s a dialogue-less short story about love and how we attempt to fill the void left by loss.
“Ain’t no way I’m gonna last / Hiding in the seams, I can’t move the past / Feel like I’m about to crash / Riding on my line, keep keeping on,” goes the chorus.
Actress Krysten Ritter, who dates the band’s singer Adam Granduciel and recently filmed a movie with Haley, came up with the video’s concept, according to the New Yorker.
On “The Wire,” Faison’s Burrell became a familiar face in the many plotlines involving City Hall and the police department. After the series finished in 2008, Faison appeared on shows like “The Good Wife,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Banshee.”
“A Deeper Understanding,” the War on Drugs’ upcoming album featuring “Holding On,” is scheduled for release Aug. 25.