By: Alex Goodchild
The French producer/director duo, The Blaze, have combined their musical and cinematic talent to create a series of music videos that look to envelop the viewer in a private world of unspoken emotion.
In 2016, The Blaze came onto the scene with the release of their single ‘Virile’, following which came their first EP: ‘Territory’. Much like ‘Virile’, ‘Territory’ looks to convey the exuberance of youth, whilst showing the turmoil of emotion found within everyday life. This idea is powerfully presented within the music video that accompanies the lead single of the EP, ‘Territory’. The video tells the journey of a young man, back to what one can only assume is his home; upon his return he is greeted with tears and smiles, through which the protagonist then begins his somewhat uncertain re-entry into life amongst his peers.
The fluidity of the shots, from rooftop sunsets, to a fierce boxing demonstration, to a group running into the sea at sunrise, sets the tone for what the music is trying to convey: raw emotion. The EP starts with ‘Prelude’, a hypnotic track that builds towards a final conclusion through the use of synthy sounds, but only really acts to set up the title track, ‘Territory’.
‘Territory’, is characterised by a heavy drumbeat with vocals that carry an almost melancholic chill. The synchronisation of the drums, with both the child-like gorilla performance and the demonstration of boxing to a set of hooded youths, perfectly presents the discord found within the music—sensitivity vs ferocity.
Whilst released before the EP, Virile follows ‘Territory’, continuing the theme of the primacy of friendship. The music video is simplistic, yet beautiful; the presentation of two young men smoking and dancing within a scarce room, portrays the purity and intimacy of friendship with the individual character’s choreographed dance accentuating their closeness.
The emphasis behind the focus on the music videos comes about due to the belief that Guillaume and Jonathan are somewhat revolutionary in their work; the two art forms of production and direction come together in The Blaze’s tracks perfectly to show how music and film are intrinsically linked. Unlike other music videos of recent years, these works focus purely on emotion and the presentation of the energy and liberty found within the music itself.
‘Interlude’ continues this progression and acts as a building track within the EP, bridging the gap created by ‘Prelude’. ‘Juvenile’ heavily focuses on electronic sounds which force their way to the forefront, with the limited vocals: ‘let me show you something, you were in my whole head once’, repeated throughout. Closing the EP, ‘Sparks and Ashes’ conveys a spirited movement towards a track based around differing sound effects, shaking the listener out of the hypnotism of ‘Juvenile’, and ending the EP on a high.
From ‘Prelude’ to ‘Sparks & Ashes’, a spectrum of emotions is conveyed, in what can only be described as an unjudging commentary on the hidden feelings within youth culture today. The Blaze have continued their form, starting 2018 with the release of the single ‘Heaven’, which again holds immense emotional value. The music video attached to the track records the interactions of a man, his partner, their child and a community of individuals around a tree; the video once again focuses on the intimate interactions of individuals and the happiness found within both friendship and companionship.
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