On Being Determined: Sia – Chandelier

“Chandelier”. Probably the most deeply sad yet powerfully motivational song in the modern pop landscape. Somehow it manages to combine sadness and anger and use those two emotions to cook up the Ultimate Determination Song.

In the case of this music video, the director has chosen to further empower the message of the audio by letting a somewhat ‘different’ girl, dressed in neutral clothes, dance in an empty, almost abandoned, apartment filled with lots of neutral furniture, too.
This set-up turns out to be a very wise choice, since all of that neutrality directs the viewer’s attention to the only thing that actually stands out: the movements of a small girl with a wig. Dancing alone in the comfort of her home. This action just by itself, regardless of the neutral decoration, is already a smart move since it almost immediately reminds many a viewer to their own private dancing moments in their own house, usually a bedroom, often accompanied by a mirror of some kind.
Furthermore, at crucial moments in the song’s lyrics, like when Sia sings she’s “just holding on for tonight” and “holding on for dear life”, the kid makes rhythmic movements at the kitchen table, or towards the front door, or up from the bed, that might imply she’s leaving for work. The lyrics also mention ‘party girls’ being perceived by others as having little profound emotion.

It is all of these subtle cues in the video that make the message – whatever that message may be – appealing to a wide variety of people and, undoubtedly, the kind of song one wants to listen to when one feels emotionally suppressed or overlooked, yet who would like to see that sorrow turned into some form of empowered, maybe even angered, deliberate determination. The determination to never back down, to not let other people’s opinions influence one’s own inner self-belief, and to simply give oneself permission to let oneself shine. It’s like that quote from the movie The Family Stone: “We all have a freak flag, yet few know how to fly it.”

Director of MV: David Askill, Sia

Brace Yourself: Here Comes the Feeling

Inspired by music video: Until the Ribbon Breaks – Here Comes the Feeling

 

Sitting ducks on razorblades, just waiting to be swallowed by the soup. That’s how deep inner pain feels. Specifically the kind that keeps popping up. Like rejection. And you know exactly how it feels. So you’re mentally preparing to let it drain you. Brace yourself, because… here comes the feeling. Only that, this time, there’s no addiction nor gossip nor any activities to distract you from the feeling. That all too familiar feeling. This time there’s nothing to numb down the pain. No cookies, no social media, no weed. Just the one feeling, which you are forced to feel. It’s the kind of feeling you’d give anything for just to avoid feeling it at all (did someone ask for a ‘workaholic’? Here, pick me).

Imagine a tiny train on a racing track inside of your head, racing at more than 500km per hour, heading straight for your heart. Here comes the feeling – but not the words. Certain feelings, especially if deep, do not need words. They can just be ‘hanging in the air’. Like a deep dark energy, or some kind of malicious ‘vibe’. And you know what the sad part is? … The sad part is that you know this feeling just too darn well! It’s like the repetition of a bad dream. Instead of waking up, like you normally would, this tiny train of thought just goes round and round and round. Again and again. A loop within a loop within a loop.

That is, until the ribbon breaks, and its heavy load is unleashed upon your heart. And your train of thought has finally arrived at the end stop. That is, until the next trigger pops up.


Director of music video: Until the Ribbon Breaks