We spend our lives taking care of things: plants, pets, children, parents, siblings, spouses. We pay the bills and buy the groceries; we do the work and push the papers. Part of that is duty, part is choice, and another part is that, while nurturing others, we can ignore that eternal need within ourselves to make sure all is well and all is good. That we’re okay. That we can breathe. Maybe in a day and age when an insult or a career-ruining jab is just a click or Tweet away, it’s easy to understand why we’re constantly consumed by self-doubt and yet so easily neglect ourselves — it’s all so close, yet so far away. The tools are there to keep going, but we keep picking the wrong ones.
Michaela Anne’s “What Good Is Water,” from last year’s Bright Lights and the Fame, turns that battle into a stirring, moody folk mediation: Like an ignored cactus on the windowsill, it’s not so much about what it would take to keep things thriving, but why we chose to abandon them in the first place. “What good is water, if you don’t have will,” asks Anne, who brings the song’s restless emotions to life in a new black-and-white music video. There’s nothing in life more vital than a sip of water, but it’s easy to knock anything that keeps the heart beating — from a cold drink to a warm embrace — completely off the table and let it shatter at your feet. “What Good Is Water” is a reminder to never let your well, whatever it might be full of, run completely dry.