via YouTube

by Warren Buchholz

I’ve been a lot more lonely lately. Especially given the tragic circumstances of the Pulse shooting, which has made me begin thinking about my course in life and how I focus more on work than on relationships with friends and loved ones.

Shock Machine’s new music video, directed by Simon Amstell (Grandma’s House, To Be Free), fills in many of the reflections that have been floating around my mind for the past week or so. From inherent loneliness to opening up to curbing a longing that exists for connections and desires, the song eerily portrays these topics by using reverse clown-like personas that represent happiness and belonging.

There are layers happening here, like in the face paint itself. Simon Amstell excellently personifies James Righton’s lyrics with vivid imagery and storytelling. We watch a man slowly wipe away any trace of the dull and cruddy muck that’s on his face, like Samson cutting off his locks. It’s an intimate, frustrating moment for us to take in. He’s losing a part of himself and opening up to the world. The “mask” is gone. And the desire for something more, a connection, relishes inside of him.

“Is it too late to ask for something, something more?”

Everyone else is wearing paint on their faces. Everyone else fits in and connects with others. The whimsical use of paint sounds fairly strange, but the metaphor works. The loneliness seeps in and takes over, and it makes everything feel fractured and distant, even during the act of watching porn. Wanderlust and nostalgia distort reality and create an unusual depth of despair and desperation that is hard to break away from once engulfed in these thoughts. But it forces us to focus on what matters to us individually. The scene on the playground, filled with nostalgia and the pursuit of childlike predilections, becomes a catalyst for change.

Something sparks within the main character; a new fire emerges. Massive panic ensues, and a hot rush of anxiety takes over. The barriers break down. The willingness to change begins.

I can’t picture the meeting in the grocery store as anything else but a start to something new. Through the body language and the facial expressions, something more is growing. We’re treated to another intimate scene, this time, the face paint being reapplied. Slowly. With someone else making gentle and focused contact, we wait until the paint is revealed, and it sparkles. The colours vibrantly shimmer. There’s rejuvenation. A connection is formed. New relationships are beginning, and old relationships begin again. It’s hard to stay connected with people when you isolate yourself. It’s hard to change one thing when everything feels muddied.

“On and on we carry on. We believe there’s something more.”

James Righton (Klaxons) delivers a haunting melody from his new project, Shock Machine. I’m glad I came across this at the time I did. He holds a lot of depth lyrically, and it’s easy to attach to the song. With the help of Simon Amstell’s eloquent storytelling, “Something More” is transformed into a memorable tune, one worthy of many many listens and relistens.

I also want more from these two creatives. And maybe a movie about the main character and Basil. That’d be nice. I would also like to say, I enjoyed the nod to Harold and Maude–that being the name of the two porn characters.

But the last thing to take away from this, I believe, is that loneliness fades. With help, depression doesn’t have to last forever. New relationships and connections and friends can always be made. Life doesn’t have to be stagnant and isolated. And, as I’ve said before, love always wins.

“Step back and take control.”

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