Elliphant “Step Down”
Elliphant’s latest single “Step Down” is about wanting to be with a guy who doesn’t want to be with her. She’s going through the old, it’s ok you suck to the how dare you not want me routine. The video for this sees Elliphant as a twenty something child of rich people. Her family sucks in her eyes, and as she struggles with the angry loneliness she decides to start spiking everyone’s drinks. The havoc that ensues actually helps to calm her down, as now that she can behave how she wants she strips down to her undies and smokes pot. I think everyone should count themselves lucky the one woman with a knife and chocolate cake doesn’t kill them. It wouldn’t matter if they did, Elliphant’s just letting her thoughts get carried away.
Vé “Life Insurance”
Vé’s new single deals with struggling from a lack of money. The video shows Vé getting up every day to work at a convenience store. Every night when his shift ends he robs people at gunpoint and sells their things for money. He brings this money home for his parents, which is a nice gesture but not the help they want. They do sign some life insurance papers and it seems to be for Vé’s father. Truthfully, the insurance money is on Vé’s life, and to cash in on it his parents have arranged for him to be shot. Turns out all those nights his mom is sitting smoking in the kitchen she’s dealing with the fact that she’s going to have her son killed for money.
Reid Willis “The Slow Knife”
Reid Willis’s video for “The Slow Knife” deals with a woman in the woods, a planet deep in space, the ability for this planet to affect the earth via a portal, smoke, gravity being interfered with, and an inter-dimensional being. Or for that matter multiple beings. One can be seen fairly early in the video as a spherical entity that resembles a jellyfish, or perhaps the colonies of coral reefs would be a more adequate description. It’s not clear what this being is doing here, or why the woman is alone in the woods. We never find out what the other being, which forms from a tornado-like vortex and can be seen by the various things that become stuck in it’s shape. Whatever this being is here for doesn’t seem to be malicious. Yes, it causes the woman to fall, but it doesn’t kill her. The woman survives but she now has golden nuggets forming on her face. It’s visually interesting even if it isn’t clear what is happening.
Mr. Oizo featuring Charli XCX “Hand in the Fire”
Februray 2nd in the United States is Groundhog Day. It’s a day where we pull a groundhog out of it’s cage and pretend that it determines whether Spring will come early or not based on if he sees his shadow. Punxsutawney Phil is the rodent deemed more intelligent than any meteorologist in the country, but he works for only the one day. More famously, perhaps, is the 1993 film Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray. Murray plays a meteorologist who is miserable and is sent to cover Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney. He finds it demeaning. Worse for him, he keeps waking up and reliving the same day over. He’s the only one who remembers it. Everyone else has no idea they’ve lived through this loop before. Mr. Oizo and Charli XCX have a song called “Hand in the Fire” which they collaborated on. The video follows the Groundhog Day loop over a stretch of road. We start with a puppet driving a car. Soon, another puppet, this one with long hair, comes driving behind and up next to the first one. They exchange looks at one another, before the long haired one drives off ahead. This one passes through a tunnel, comes out the other side, and sees it’s hair blow off. That first puppet reaches up and catches it. Now, they experience the scenario all over again, this time reversing their roles. And so on it goes.
Leon Bridges “River”
Leon Bridges’s single “River” deals with rivers as a symbol of rebirth or cleansing in various cultures. In the video Bridges and Brittni Jessie are driving when they pull over to stop at a motel. Inside, Leon plucks away at his guitar while he sings the song. The television in his room is showing rioting as one person is breaking the windshield of a car with a street cone. We cut to a home where the mother is busy putting away laundry while her daughter sits on the floor by the screen door. She’s lost in some unhappy thoughts. Next we see a man walking down the street wet and with blood on his shirt. When he makes it home, he heads upstairs and removes his shirt to lie down on his bed ignoring the cries of his infant from down the hall. We then move onto a group of black people holding a vigil for some young boy who died from a violent act, and we see another young man among them being hugged tighter by his mother. The little girl finally goes outside and finds another group of people being baptized by a hose. She joins them. The little infant is frightened of a thunderstorm and makes it off the mattress on the floor to crawl to daddy. Thankfully, the thunder has moved the father to pick up his child and cradle it. The little boy, too, hears the thunder and heads downstairs to give his mother a tight hug. The rain washes over us, and makes it easier to connect with one another. Our burdens are what drive us apart. Leon Bridges reminds us that our sins do not have to be permanent scars. We can overcome anything.