Blue Light Disco – Contemplating the Obvious

Sometimes I don’t know what you see in me
The loose knit of what TV used to mean
You get caught up in the theme songs
Not the blue reach of kissed stars
Or the cracked teeth of sets in the gutter
You see it as
A blue light disco
(Falling on the waves)

And hope falls like cut kite strings
Releasing paper parts from their diamond dreams
When the heart’s at sea level
Gonna see a simple light
As a blue light disco

In the backyard like some drunk uncle
A jumping castle is taking on water
More water to learn how to walk on
And in sleep with our hands held
Tied to this point, as we dream
Of different cities to fold into

Tree roots
Like desire, ends
A thousand souls
Found their way here as sand
Having seen you from the edges as
A blue light disco

I have been thinking about Full Circle a lot this week. Its made me wonder the line I should walk when creating a visual environment for a song. Walking home from work I was listening to Olympia’s Self Talk album (its a really great dusk album, I don’t know why but its just tied to the hours before it gets dark). Blue Light Disco came on and it made me wonder how I would go about produce a music video for it. The song itself is rather enigmatic, but it has one consistent and obvious environmental context: a blue light disco. I started to wonder… the lethargic and deep tones of the song quickly drum up a vision of blue light being caught in smoke traveling slowly across a dingy disco floor, a disco ball spinning above, making blue and silver light dance around he room… but would this be a copout? Is the first image that comes to your head the best to pursue when it comes to making a music video? or would it be better to subvert the song? I can also imaging, though this time with effort, the light turning red… the smoke is still there but perhaps we aren’t at a disco anymore, perhaps we are outside in a deserted suburban street as our singer walks alone down the roads and we, the audience, follow her.

Funnily enough, researching the song later, I found my later imagining closer to the heart of the song than my first. When asked what she wrote her songs about she said:

“It’s called Blue Light Disco and it’s one of my favourite songs. That idea of when you see lights over the water, they are magnified and it looks like a massive city. It’s about desire and that idea that you want the house across the road, you buy it, you move in and you look out and you think oh, is that it? Maybe that’s more about us than them.”

Even with this answer there is no definitive as to what the perfect music video would look like. Setting it within a disco would compliment the tonal choice of the music, the darkness and grittiness working well in combination with the morbid feeling of the song. An open suburban/urban landscape would, on the other hand, compliment the isolation and trepidation of the song – there is no right answer. This line of enquiry hasn’t lead to any epiphanies on my account though it does lead me to believe that a music video should focus on a single element of a song and build of that. Something that can be diluted into a single sentence and then stretched back out again in production. Trying to match all of Olympias poetic imagery visually would be an obtuse cluster-fuck  but perhaps picking a single lyric, just one line, is the way to go. When I think about it, all the music videos I have assessed recently do this.

The Wolf: “You can run but you cant hide”

Full Circle: “You’ve come full circle”

Not only this but both of my ideas for Blue Light Disco also comply. The first simply follows “A blue light disco”, but the second also resonates with “as we dream of different cities to fall into”. How obvious one is, and how close one marries the visuals to the music is still a grey area for me but I think there is some merit in working off this line concept into the future. After all we are making a music video fo our own. Subconsciously we are already doing this with “Let to flower bloom”… only time will tell if this will resonate in the final product.