How Stardew Valley Creator Eric Barone Brought Alvvays' 'Many Mirrors' Music Video to Life

Canadian indie pop band Alvvays released their unforgettable third studio album, Blue Revin October, and it's one we haven't taken off rotation since.

Of its 14 colorful, richly layered tracks, "Many Mirrors" has to be one of our favorites, and with its new music video out today, we've fallen for the track even further. It was made in collaboration with Eric Barone, best known as the creator of the hit game Stardew Valley, and it turns out that his video game-inspired animations for the track are nearly as addictive as the title that put him on the map. We had the privilege of getting to chat with Eric all about how this collab came to be, and what the vibrant video means to him as a creator, and he shared it all with us in the interview below.

Sweety High: Can you tell us a little bit about how this collab came to be? How did you and Alvvays sync up, and how did the music video come to be from there?

Eric Barone: I got an email from Molly, where she told me that some of the band members were fans of Stardew Valley, and that they play it on tour and in the studio. I thought that was really cool. In the email, Molly asked me if I would ever consider drawing something for the band. I think she just had something very small in mind, but I have a hard time restraining myself, so after listening to the new album several times, I came up with the idea for an entire video.


SH: Why did "Many Mirrors" resonate with you in particular? What does the track mean to you?

EB: It's hard to say—I really liked the whole album (Blue Rev), but "Many Mirrors" had an upbeat, pure, adventurous energy to it that stood out to me. In my opinion, it's the most straightforward song on the album. It has only a few vocal lines that are repeated, so you really have time to marinate in the concept. For some reason, that just works for me. The meaning of the song is very subjective, of course, but the words, "Now that we've passed through many mirrors, I can't believe we're still the same, " spoke to me because I feel like I've personally been through a lot of changes in my life, with the development, release and unexpected success of Stardew Valley— but after everything, at my core, I'm still the same as I've always been—the baby, the child, the man. The older you get, the more profound that truth becomes.


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SH: What made you decide to go with a video game theme for the video? Were there any games in particular that you wanted to channel?

EB: Well, I guess there are a few things. For one, I've spent the last 10 years of my life as a game developer, so it just made sense to me to approach this with the same mindset I am used to. Also, the band reached out to me because they played my video game, so I figured it would be good to create something in the ballpark of what they knew me from.

Also, the concept of "Many Mirrors" could make a cool video game, I think. I kind of daydreamed about the idea: "What if this video was also a trailer for a new game I was making, called Many Mirrors," which was funny and interesting.

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SH: How did the mirror theme allow you to get creative in terms of the destinations showcased in the video?

EB: The mirror theme was perfect because it allowed me to create a ton of wildly worlds but have them all appear in the video in a way that makes sense. I think that's part of why the song gave me this particular idea for the video. It was a good set-up to let my imagination run wild.


SH: Do you have a favorite segment from the music video? If so, which one, and why?

EB: I like all the segments, but I guess the train sequence kind of stands out. I just had this idea in my head for a train scene, and the end result didn't quite look like it did in my head, but I'm still happy with it. I think it's neat because it kind of looks 3D, but it's just an illusion from having the 2D sprites get smaller and move toward a vanishing point. It was inspired by some old racing games which took a similar approach.


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SH: Is there anything else we should know about the video?

EB: The 3-D segment that's in space and on the moon is the first time I've ever done 3D game development or created 3D models.

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Curious about the stories behind even more great music? Click HERE to read our interview with TikTok-famous singer-songwriter Hayes Warner on her latest release, "Shut Up."