Off the back of a sold-out European tour earlier this year, Amistat, otherwise known as brothers Jan and Josef Prasil, have announced their new single The Coward – an anthem for those who are having difficulty living as their authentic selves, set for release on November 10. This effecting yet understated tune has been perfectly reflected in the song’s stunning video, directed by Kathleen Mary Lee (Lanks, Batts, Canary).
The Coward might first evoke thoughts of Ben Howard or The Tallest Man On Earth, but there’s a sensual quality here that cannot be compared to anyone. Patient, authentic and stirring, The Coward lays it all on the line with careful exhilaration. Soaring harmonies prevail, delivered with a synchronization only twins like the Amistat brothers can achieve, and the chorus propels itself forward with tenacious acoustic guitar and driving percussion. Speaking of the inspiration and depth behind the track, Josef says, “The Coward is about knowing who you are deep inside but not being able to let it out. People are very fast with making assumptions and judging you based on what you look like but little they know about what’s inside of the person.”
And the clip encompasses so much in such a simple yet effective format. The viewer watches one man struggle with his sense of identity and purpose, as a pivotal moment in his life plays itself out backwards. The grey, stormy palette, the storyline that is left to the audience to interpret – it all lends itself to a melancholy, important reflection of the theme of this track. Josef enthuses, “Jan and I love the concept of ‘one-shot’ videos, where the whole film clip you see is done in a single take…It’s impossible really, trying to get it in one take but we always like a challenge! We started with that concept about two years ago and decided to keep it as sort of a trademark of the band. For this clip, we came up with a vision of a soldier who is being denied going to battle, even though he wanted to defend his loved ones, and show his courage and commitment.”
Born and raised in Germany, the Prasil twins made the move to the set up home on the other side of the world in 2012. “We decided to come to Australia as our father is Australian and we had heard amazing things about this beautiful country,” says Josef. “When we arrived we were struggling to find work so we picked up some musical instruments and started busking to survive! Jan really took to the guitar while I sung along. We realised pretty quickly that we had a unique sound and people wanted to listen to us back home and that is how Amistat was formed.”
Amistat will be hitting the road again in December to celebrate the release of The Coward, kicking off in their adopted hometown of Melbourne before swinging on through Newcastle, Canberra, Sydney, Byron Bay, Brisbane and fittingly finishing up at Woodford Folk Festival to see the year out.
Amistat is Jan (guitar) and Josef Prasil (vocals), joined on the road by Julian Swinnerton (cello) and Ryan Oliver (piano and percussion)
SAT 2 DEC | CHAPEL OF CHAPEL MELBOURNE VIC | 18+
WED 6 DEC | LASS O’GOWRIE NEWCASTLE NSW | 18+
THU 7 DEC | FROMT GALLERY CANBERRA ACT | 18+
SAT 9 DEC | RECORD CRATE SYDNEY NSW | 18+
THU 14 DEC | BEACH HOTEL BYRON BAY NSW | 18+
FRI 15 DEC | MILK FACTORY BRISBANE QLD | 18+
WED 27 DEC – MON 1 JAN | WOODFORD FOLK FESTIVAL QLD | AA