Kings of Leon Come Out of the Shadows With Invigorating Creative Direction in ‘Seen’ Video

Kings of Leon recently released their ninth studio album, Can We Please Have Fun, a sprawling self-interrogation that ushers the band into a new phase of their artistry more than two decades into their career. The process of creating the album gifted the quartet with a newfound sense of clarity. It wasn’t just that they understood themselves on a deeper, lyrical level, they also learned that they could experience those same breakthroughs as creative directors of their visual output, as well.

“Seen,” the final song on the album but the latest to receive an accompanying visualizer, finds Kings of Leon working alongside their long-time creative director, Casey McGrath. In it, the band toys with spotlights and shadows. They shape their performance of the record around spaces absent of light as the record’s somber lyrics are projected above them.

“We’ve found that the more control we take, over all aspects of the creative process, the more authentic the experience is for us and the fans,” Kings of Leon’s Jared Followill tells Rolling Stone. “We love seeing people’s reactions and personal interpretations of the songs. But at the end of the day, nobody knows what these songs mean, and how they should come to life, better than we do. This album is our baby, and we want it presented in the way we envisioned when we wrote and recorded it.”

The band’s push to be more involved in the creative process beyond the music itself came after they released the first Can We Please Have Fun single, “Mustang,” earlier this year. The single followed a traditional release schedule, arriving with a music video directed by Brook Linder that rooted itself in chaos.


Their goal was for the visual components for this album to be a little out of the ordinary. And since they recorded videos for each song on the 12-track record, they had plenty of chances to lean into their unconventional approaches. All of the videos were filmed in Nashville over the course of two days, with Kings of Leon working closely with a tight-knit creative team.

Just ahead of the album’s release, Caleb Followill shared a statement that succinctly captures the current creative ethos of Kings of Leon. “When you have a band, there’s a bond like no other, and when you have family, you have a bond like no other,” he said. “We have both of those things. I thought, if we put all our energy toward something, who is gonna stop us? Who can stop us except us?”


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