music video:michael leviton x hannah cohen

the prettiest version of missed connections yet.

by rebecca willa davis

The phrase "ships passing in the night" certainly isn't a new one, but it takes on whole new meaning--and sound--in Michael Leviton's' "Ships Passing." The track, featuring musician-turned-model Hannah Cohen sing over a piano, strings, and horns, orchestrated by Michael Leviton, is a melancholic ode to real world Missed Connections. Eyeing someone but never saying anything may sound trite, but here it's elevated to the most serious of things.

"A Man Of Ideas, Volume 1 is an album of my songs sung by women accompanied by a large band," says Leviton, adding that he had trouble finding the perfect voice for this track until he happened to see Cohen performing live. Lucky for us, the two did end up connecting, and before long she had agreed to join him on "Ships Passing."

In the music video, directed by Shruti Ganguly (a onetime NYLON TV producer!), the unsettling beauty of the song is brought to life. "The line and title, 'Ships passing in the night,' was what I wanted to play with; the idea of two people being in a space without necessarily being physically present at the same time--yet each is aware of the lingering of the other," she explains. That translates into layered shots of Cohen, dancers, and the string quartet, often all at once. "With their performances in the same space, it added to these ideas of being expansive, layered, contained, yet fleeing and transient," Ganguly adds.

But don't be fooled by the somber tone of the song and accompanying music video; as Leviton points out, "Though on camera we were pretending to be sad or somber or lonely or bored, itw as one of the most fun days in recent memory."

Watch our exclusive premiere of the music video to "Ships Passing" below!