MONDAY, JULY 20, 2015|
Posted by: Becky Foinchas
Wheels within wheels my friends...wheels within wheels. In a nutshell, that is exactly how I would describe Lower Dens' latest music video for the 80s inspired shoegaze jam "Sucker's Shangri-La." Just to add some context for the inquisitive, the term 'Shangri-La' generally describes a mystical harmonious valley, gently guided by a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun mountains in Asia, originally depicted in a 1933 novel by British author James Hilton. Romantic right? But, as we begin to take in all of the anticipated mysticism of an enchanting scene, we're thrown into the crevices of an urban, dumpy Asian karaoke bar, in the middle of a metropolitan city of your choice. Yet, as soon as the middle-aged Asian gent takes the stage to showcase his karaoke skills, viewers will begin to realize a multi-dimensional route that Lower Dens may have intended for this, increasingly whimsical, music video.
Lower Dens's clever 3-dimentional flight on the video undeniably solidifies the band's inventive conceptual creativity. I see it like this; Dimension number one lies in the first person frame of a drab Asian karaoke bar setting of a solemn gent just trying to practice his vocals and have a bit of fun. The second dimension lies in the viewers' realization of Lower Dens's music video playing within Lower Dens's music video. There lie depictions of lead singer Jana Hunter in some ethereal vintage street scenes playing in the 'token' lyric music video intended for our guy to sing to. And lastly, we have the very subtle notion that the actual audio and breath of the song "Sucker's Shangri-La" can be likened to a range of jams you would frequently hear at your favorite karaoke bar to begin with. This of course, is just my theory on things. But, we cant shy away from the bands clever trip into their 'Sucker' version of 'Shangri-La' and all its grunginess.
And that's why its overly appropriate to sum up this music video as an entity in a glass house, observing itself, observing itself. Wheels within wheels my friends...wheels within wheels.