Friday, August 17, 2018

Not Your Space

This post will be featuring a music video called Not Your Space by Glass Hamlet, who can be found on twitter and instagram . Click here for the video with full lyrics and credits.

       If you know me, you know I love both music and art, usually the more abstract the better. When I was asked to write about this music video, I was stoked because it was exactly my type of thing both music and art-wise.
       At first I was drawn into the animation. Super dynamic because of the number of artists, and could only have been the work of one person if they'd spent 10 years in an alternate Dr. Seuss-esque reality with only 70s music videos to watch and sheets of acid for food. I felt almost sucked into it myself, as though the groovy and fluid transitions would turn into a vortex at the end of the video and whisk me away to a neon utopia.

      It can best describe it as a dynamic, eye-catching video that I imagine would be the love child of Telex's Twist à St. Tropez and the classic Take On Me by A-Ha. You know, the kind that doesn't stay live-action throughout but keeps the presence and sense of the singer in the video with funky and often abstract animation. What seems to make it such a masterpiece is the sheer number of artists who worked on it- both art students and up-and-coming artists all contributing their images of one idea. (I actually had to pare down everything I had to say about the animation because I could go on forever about the bits I liked)

       But as soon as I heard the lyrics, I was really into the flow of it and found myself going back to check the lyrics many times in a "Did he really just say that?" or "Wow, that was an unexpected reference" way. In the notes I have scribbled down from my first time watching through it, I just have "omg the shade" as a bullet point because OMG, the shade being thrown in some parts of this song is phenomenal.

       The song ticks all the boxes for me for what fits a really good and catchy beat in today's music world. But for me the complexity of the lyrics and the many references to mythology are what sold it as a really fantastic song. It could make probably anyone stop to listen and dance, but for those of you who are into mythology or grew up reading almost too many books, it's fantastic because as you know, it's rare for all the literary references and characters in your head to be relevant in most situations so whenever they come up, it's like scratching that itch and validating that time you spent slogging your way through the Iliad and other waffley books.

       The great thing about music is being able to drawn your own meaning from songs, or choosing to leave it arbitrary and find new meaning in it every time. That's the draw for me behind a lot of songs that don't really make sense or tell a direct story through the lyrics. As my musical heroine Ingrid Michaelson says in her 2016 album, It Doesn't Have to Make Sense.

       There were themes of mental struggle, rebellion, oppression, and self reflection throughout this song, and the part that really hit home for me were these lines-

"And so I leave, and so I retreat, go back to my flat boil water and breathe 

The leaves keep on changing in color 

I say that it's fall 

They don't get what I mean

I point at the sky in disbelief 

I turn back and look in their eyes 

There's no one there 

Just a mannequin 

And she weeps" 

       Often, mental illnesses can shape your view of the world around you by changing your focus or making you more observant to the small things while blurring your understanding of bigger things and it enforces feelings of isolation, because when you try to open up to people and explain how you feel, it's a foreign concept to them. Very often it leads people to believe they're broken or made wrong.

       But because you see the world differently, it doesn't mean you're broken or less valuable. I really hope you believe that because look- 

       If you were to ask the average person to describe the night sky, they probably wouldn't mention the distant swirling galaxies or the presence of yellows in the blue expanse.  But if they did, they wouldn't be wrong. Would Starry Night be as valuable a masterpiece and historic painting if it wasn't highlighting the point of view of someone who saw the world differently?

1 comment:

Lisa's Notebook said...

Wow, what an interesting post, I've never read a music video review before. I agree with you about the Aha video - my goodness, that takes me back though! And I love your point about still being valuable because of, rather than in spite of, seeing the world differently. Fab post! xx

Lisa |