Effective music videos are hard to find in 2013. There’s not really a uniform outlet in which music junkies can watch videos from their favorites, and financial issues in the music industry have led to a sharp decline of high-caliber music videos.
What this means, then, is that I freak out when something substantial comes along. Take Sigur Rós’ 2012 video for “Fjögur píanó,” and how the piece was simply saturated in eclecticism: the underwater car ride, the potentially electric popsicles and even Shia LeBeouf’s exposed penis all made us realize that a), director Alma Har’el had a disorienting message for us music-goers, or b), the specifics didn’t really matter. The latter makes more sense to me, although there are certainly poignant parts to the music video. Overall, though, what you got from the piece probably differed vastly from mine. I’m partial to my theories of the ‘ol acid trip gone amiss, but ultimately the video said much more to its audience than I can possibly know.
And ultimately, this is how I see fantastic music videos. The unconventional ones stick with me, the videos pushing the envelope towards what the song itself could only hint. Maybe it’s easier for directors to work with more ambiguous songs, then: more space means more flexibility. And “Old Skin,” serene as it is, really does leave room for the imagination. This is why I didn’t have specific expectations for the video, because it could probably focus on any type of emotional storyline, and the music could still make it work.
I guess this is why I’m crazy about the video. The overall story’s about an older man, an occupant of a lighthouse, who finds himself unhealthily shaken from everyday events. Whether it’s a cup of coffee or simply a bath, the man gets much more out of the experiences than the average person. Maybe some sort of amnesia is plaguing the man, or maybe my guess is way off the mark. Either way, though, the music video makes one think, and that’s all one can hope for. Check out the new video here, and leave a comment with your thoughts.
“Old Skin” (featuring Arnór Dan) is a single off Ólafur Arnalds’ new release, For Now I Am Winter. Keep an eye out for the album, and for my upcoming review on why it may just be Arnalds’ most innovative release yet.