Sunday, 11 May 2014

Video Review - Pretend

by Dan and Amy (out now)

Since I was a little girl I have had almost nightly dreams of flying. As I get older I seem to be able to fly higher and higher. It’s a bizarre thing, our sleeping dreams, and how they inform our sense of imaginings and our daydreams. I often just wish I could take a jump and leave the ground behind and soar over beaches, oceans, forests and rivers.

So I was smiling ear to ear when I hit play on the new film clip 'Pretend' from Melbourne folk duo Dan and Amy. This clip will make you feel like you are absolutely flying. But first, let’s talk about the flavour of sound that this brother and sister music team make. The music of Dan and Amy is epic in its journey – each song has many layers and textures in terms of stripped back sections and bigger builds and beautiful duel harmonic lead vocals. 'Pretend' is a fantastic example of these complex intricacies. This song hit the top five earlier in the year on IMKOS’ weekly top 25. I also was fortunate enough to write up a gig review of Dan and Amy that I saw back in February.

The film clip for 'Pretend' literally from the get-go had my jaw dropped down - so much so that I hit replay immediately after. And later that day when I had several friends over I said, “You simply MUST see this!” The footage that accompanies this beautiful song is breathtaking. The camera flies high above the ground. The scene sweeping beneath and ahead of us is firstly a beach – perhaps at dawn or dusk. We are then flying above a gorge with a little river below. Next we fly high over green lush forest lands. We are taken on montages back and forth between these and other natural scenes. The link here is that every scene is devoid of any human or any sign of human life. There is ultimate peace and majesty in these pristine images. And the feeling of flying (for me anyway) was immediately obvious and slightly intoxicating.

As the music shifts to an almost colonial guitar section we are then set to soar over firstly farmlands and then over the city skyline of Melbourne. Around here the drums crash and the intensity of sound builds. Dan restarts the vocals as we see the industrial landscape of the city and its back urban water ways. There is also a stunning shot of flying between power lines. The shot flies higher and higher under the lines and just when I thought we were above them it flies higher again. Simple symmetry rules, as does perspective.

And perspective perhaps is the underlying theme of this clip. Perhaps being given a new perspective of our beautiful land we might stop to consider our involvement in the changing landscape. And truly consider what is more majestic – the power of progress and industry or the actual beauty and irreplaceable uniqueness that is Australia.

The clip ends with a shot of birds flying high above the trees and we are taken back again to the ocean almost following the birds themselves. I think this is one of those clips that you might want to share around and say “I saw this first”. For its footage alone, its incredible. But with the gorgeous music of Dan and Amy accompanying it – it’s a winner. 

Lou Endicott gives the video for 'Pretend' five Nick Cave heads out of five...

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