Editor’s Note: There’s been a month-long gap in coverage, thanks to near-incessant travel and other extenuating circumstances. The following run of posts that contain this note will be posts that should have appeared sometime within the past several weeks. Use these posts as an opportunity to catch up to the present release cycle or to simply discover some new music. Either way, enjoy.
One of the most unbearably tense music videos of 2016 came by way of WRAY‘s Dillon Hayes-directed clip for the outstanding “Pined”. Expertly lensed by Hayden Mason, “Pined” plays almost exclusively to the anxious paranoia that serves as the song’s driving function. Painstakingly choreographed, “Pined” is so meticulously composed that at more than one point it becomes a genuinely unnerving experience.
A loose narrative thread begins to emerge more than full minute into the clip that may or may not involve the occult but definitely involves an eerie woodland ceremony. At some point a series of shots involving a statue, tree branches, and a reflective body of water are interwoven to amplify the unsettling nature of “Pined” to an even greater magnitude. In the video’s closing moments, all three members of WRAY surround a cassette recorder that plays back field recordings before the POV switches to a skybound view of the trees, allowing some sunlight in, releasing the viewer from the relentless fear that imbued the rest of the clip (while letting it linger via the unanswered questions).
“Pined” is one of the more masterful videos, at least as far as classic filmmaking craft is concerned, to be released in recent memory. It’s difficult to parse, impossible to shake, and easy to admire. Tense and unforgiving, it’s a miniature masterpiece that succeeds in securing interest as it piles on a formidable amount of intrigue. As much of a short film as a music video, it’s the kind of clip you’ll want to show to your friends just so you can spend the next few days dissecting all of its potential meaning (and spend a few more hours getting lost to its spell).
Watch “Pined” below and order Hypatia from Communicating Vessels here.