VIDEO PREMIERE: ‘Loss’ by Laura Boswell

In crafting the music video for the haunting “Loss” off Laura Boswell’s 2020 EP, Place To Be, the Asheville-based singer-songwriter-guitarist and her co-director, David Gwaltney, trekked to Roan Mountain for a pair of shoots last year. And by returning to the scene of the proverbial crime, it resulted in her most enchanting visual work yet.

The collaborators’ first visit in January 2022 was sparked by Boswell seeing snow-capped peaks while driving to work in Black Mountain. Hoping to catch what she calls “some magical weather” at higher elevations, and further inspired by images she’d glimpsed of Roan Mountain coated in gorgeous layers of ice, they headed north to the Tennessee border — and nearly gave up on their frozen precipitation dreams.

“On the almost two hour drive up, we didn’t see a speck of snow or ice,” Boswell recalls. “It was just until we were a few minutes to our destination that the winter wonderland started to become visible. And our timing was perfect: we filmed right before a massive storm hit the area that night and the rest of the weekend.”

Once there, they bundled up, worked fast and braved the frigid wind chills, slipping and sliding their way up and down the mountain’s icy path. But it was a polar opposite experience that June when they revisited Roan to catch the rhododendrons in bloom, and visited the banks of the South Toe River near Burnsville for scenes that necessitated significantly warmer temperatures.

In those waterside moments, Boswell and her close friend Tara Underwood share an intimate embrace upon a rock face while Boswell sings into the camera. Friends since their days at Guilford College, the two exude a level of comfort necessary for conveying such vulnerable moments, and their trust in each other is palpable as they gracefully slide off the rock and into the river — all of which Gwaltney captures from above in an ambitious drone shot that Boswell dreamed up.

“This song is about the challenge of losing a loved one, but also ultimately about how connected we all are and able to support one another through our shared vulnerability and intimacy, and a relationship with the natural world,” Boswell says. “I felt very isolated when I lost my grandpa, which prompted me to write this song — I was living on Maui and not able to attend the funeral in Chapel Hill due to health reasons.”

She continues, “I think with these shots I wanted to convey the power and importance of physical and emotional intimacy in times of need — how vital it is that we ask for and accept love, care and help in our most vulnerable moments. David did a beautiful job and I’m really happy with how those shots turned out.”


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

2 thoughts on “VIDEO PREMIERE: ‘Loss’ by Laura Boswell

  1. James

    Filming and making videos on US Forest Service land in a for-profit capacity (which this is) requires a Special Use Permit from the Forest Supervisor’s Office.

    The use of drones on or near the Appalachian Trail is strictly forbidden.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.