This slow and somber song off of Alt-J’s latest chart topping release has been set to an interesting and well made scene.
This is an extremely thought provoking new video from Alt-J.
The opening shot has us asking questions immediately..
Who are they? Where did they come from? Are they hit-men waiting to kill this man who has reconciled his fate and given up a chase? Are they exchanging something dangerous with the man, the open field being there agreed rendezvous?
These questions are unanswered until the man mounts what looks to be a pile of bricks and begins an impassioned declarative speech, flaunting forth some book or pamphlet whose contents are no less obscure than the setting and situation under which the video’s story transpires.
As the man in the middle becomes more and more animated, ever kept at the center of the camera that makes wide and slow circles around the gathering, night falls. He repeats lyrics as they happen, occasionally audible enough for us to hear him asking one of the shaven men “are you a pusher or are you a puller”, and continues zealously in French until eventually he has pushed himself past the point of no return and he ends up forgoing life in the last dramatic moment.
Whether or not we knew who the people in the field were in the beginning, it becomes apparent throughout the video that they are listening to the man as he preaches. They also all look the same, which suggests uniformity of the masses, and how they are influenced or impassive to the ideas and beliefs of an individual.
The concept was first conceived by Joe Newman and Thomas Rhazi, the director, who said “I wanted this film to be very humanist and as deep and simple as it could be.” Thomas also goes on to say “…the hero does the most excessive act because he can’t do anything else…” He can see that as the day continues into night, which was also an excellent choice for a simple change in the aesthetic of the song, he still has close to no influence on those that he is so intensely trying to reach.
Alt-J have been recently nominated for two awards at the BRITs 2015, being British Group and British Album, for This Is All Yours, which was also nominated for best Alternative Music Album at the Grammys the other week. Their sophomore album has sold over half a million copies already, and they will be playing at Madison Square Garden on March 30th.