Posted by: Necci – Oct 25, 2012
Blacksburg's Wild Nothing just released a great new video for the song "Paradise," from their latest album, Nocturne. The video stars actress Michelle Williams, whom you may remember from Brokeback Mountain, Shutter Island, or, um, Dawson's Creek (what is it about her and things named after geographical locations?). The video's director, Matthew Amato, recruited Williams to be in the video by sending her the three tracks Wild Nothing were considering making a video for. Williams chose "Paradise," and got together with Wild Nothing leader Jack Tatum to record a monologue for the video, in which she reads from Iris Murdoch's 1975 novel A Word Child. The resulting re-edited version of the song emphasizes the wistful, evocative feel of the music. Williams's monologue is placed overtop of a quiet mid-song breakdown that subtly increases the tension of her words, finally coming to a head as the music comes back to full strength just as Williams speaks her last line. Laid over mysteriously powerful footage shot by Amato on Japanese Harinezumi cameras, the song's synth-heavy darkwave sound is given added depth as the video delivers a skeletal narrative in which Williams travels a great distance by plane to arrive at a huge waterfall, where she is seemingly renewed by the power of the natural phenomenon she encounters there. The song simultaneously adds power to the video and derives additional power from its juxtaposition with these images, and the resulting five and a half minute clip is more like an actual short film than a mere promotional tool for a new single. Of course, watching the video also has the effect of making the song itself unforgettable, so it does its job either way.
Wild Nothing's Nocturne is out now on Captured Tracks.
By Andrew Necci