Dizzee Rascal “Pagans”
Dizzee Rascal goes to the ancient temples of some Asian jungle to master the martial arts in his video for “Pagans”. There’s so many cliched images of Dizzee as a master fighter. He can do splits. He’s ruthless to students who aren’t as disciplined as he’d like. He can draw energy from within himself and destroy fruit. OK, so obviously if he can destroy fruit he can do damage to people, too. And he is called to avenged on of his fallen. All he has is a shuriken to go on, but his rivals symbol is on it. He goes to the city, alone because he’s that damn good. After fighting some henchmen he meets his enemy and defeats him in one on one combat. Honestly, if you’re thinking rapper this is the kind of thing I’d expect to see more rappers engage in. He’s a solo artist who wants the world to know how good he is. He battles people and destroys them. If that’s not rap, I don’t know what is. I guess one reason we don’t see more rappers, or even Jay-Z, engage in this type of music video is because Wu-Tang Clan claimed that niche for themselves.
The Kooks “See Me Now”
The Kooks get serious in their new song “See Me Now”. Written for his father Bob Pritchard, Luke Pritchard takes an introspective look at himself by trying to see things through his father’s eyes. It’s strange that sometimes we try to see if someone else is happy with us in order to see if we are happy with ourselves. The real question we should be asking when this happens is, who are we trying to make happy? The video follows Luke through a city in Japan. He gets dressed, grabs a bite to eat, performs at a club, then goes off on his own to wander and think. And that’s just it, as much as he surrounded by people around him he feels very alone because the only person he wants to talk to isn’t here anymore. The lyrics even ask “if you could see my smile?”. Yet, there’s no smiling on Luke’s face. Sometimes a story needs a good protagonist to really keep people involved in it. In the same way, life leaves us asking for someone to be there and let us know we’re doing right by them. But life isn’t a screenplay we have control of. Sometimes those people we need more as we get older get written off too soon. It’s a part of growing up that leaves us wondering if we’ve grown up for the better or worse.
She & Him “Stay A While”
She & Him’s latest video is for “Stay A While”. “Stay A While” is a song about missing someone before they’re even gone. You don’t want them to leave. The video is charming. It’s centered in a 1950’s style house, which is kind of the signature of She & Him. M. Ward comes out and sits on a chair we can’t see. Or maybe it’s supposed to be an amp. He plugs in his guitar, which we can’t see either, and starts playing. At this point, Zooey starts singing to and dancing with a man we can’t see. It’s interesting to see her twirled around, dipped, and even lifted without anyone being there. I guess when you miss someone before they are even gone, it can feel like they’re not there as they get ready to go. It also shows how they are needed for certain things. There’s only so much you can do on your own, kind of like dipping. You need your partner to complete the task.
Hozier “From Eden”
Hozier’s song “From Eden” deals with being less than chivalrous. He outright sings that he “slithered here from Eden to sit outside your door”. That’s the allusion to the Devil in the Garden of Eden. That story is open to interpretation from who’s really at fault, to was the Devil really doing anything wrong? Just so, the video for “From Eden” has you looking at it differently from start to finish. What begins as a couple breaking into a house at night jumps to day time. Now the couple is driving around with a boy in the front seat. They pull up to a gas station, where the man goes in to rob it. They drive off and find another house to break into. They eat here, and play here. Generally, they’re just trying to have a good time. Then the police show up, and you’re led to believe that these are some of the worst parents ever. But then we’re brought back to the couple and the house they broke into at night. They find here, along with a very large spider, a little boy hiding in the closet. So, are they bad people? Or are they good people just doing bad things?
Emmy the Great “Swimming Pool”
Emmy the Great croons about love unreturned in her new song “Swimming Pool”. She just wants to be noticed by this rich boy who ignores her. Her lasting image of him is swimming in his pool. The pool is also his means of escaping from her. The lyrics indicate that as she is trying to touch him he jumps into the pool. The video has multiple images of emptiness. We start by going through a house that looks like has hardly been used. It’s clean and put together, which makes it seem like no one is living there now, but it is being taken care of. We see a ghostly apparition of Emmy as she sits by the pool outside. More images of an empty home, and then we see Emmy in a bathing suit under the water. She’s drowning herself in an empty pool. The place she remembers her love, the thing he escapes into, the empty pool that drowns her. It’s the feeling of being overcome by love that you can’t share with someone. We end with Emmy’s apparition looking at her floating body, and then pull backwards into the house before the screen goes black.