Some videos should come with a written explanation for what’s going on.
And no, we’re not talking a detailed breakdown for the seemingly three-hour “Cold November Rain” clip by Guns N’ Roses. Or Aphex Twin’s quite frankly fucking terrifying “Come to Daddy”.
Case in point is Blue J’s “Both Your Hands”.
Over four-and-a-half hazy minutes, the four-piece takes us on a disorientingly dream-like trip through Canada’s most increasingly unforgiving city. It’s hard to live here when you’re making art or not a trust-fund kid, and that’s not changing anytime soon.
To read things literally is to come to the conclusion that Vancouver is a place that’s being turned upside down, with rents out of control, home ownership a sad pipe dream, and neighbourhoods gentrifying faster than you can say “show me the money”.
On a purely aesthetic level, “Both Your Hands” is as beautiful as its music and lyrics (“I was wishing for my life to be over /Till you decided to invite yourself over”) are melancholy.
Strap yourself in and think about the way director Lester Lyons-Hookham and cinematographer Jeremy Cox juxtapose burnt-orange sunsets and snow-capped North Shore mountains with East Van alleyways and fenced-in empty lots. And think about how the video’s central figure seems to always be alone even when he’s surrounded by people.
It’s somehow scarily disconnecting yet soothingly meditative, which is to say legimately thought-provoking. Kind of like the Refused video for “New Noise”, which really should have come with a written explanation of what’s going on.
Watch below and then, because you know you're curious, stay tuned for three of the most confusing music videos known to humankind.
And, as promised, here are the other videos, along with some questions.
First up, "Cold November Rain", where someone went to the trouble of building a fence around a church in the middle of the desert, but then left a gap in the thing wide enough to drive three Guns N' Roses tour buses and a couple of semis through.
And then there's "Come to Daddy" which seems to be some nightmarish warning about walking one's dog in city that looks like outer Berlin, especially when the children seem as if they just staggered off the set of the pants-shittingly terrifying Orphan.
Finally, giant rabbits, ham radios, and enraged Swedes hanging upside-down from the ceiling. Actually we're pretty sure we've got the Refused's "New Noise" figured out: it's an extended metaphor for the surreal rage that ensues every time you attempt to assemble Ikea furniture. You're welcome.