Set in what appears to be an abandoned church, Hozier’s “Work Song” music video begins with the band situated atop a makeshift stage among flickering candles, in front of an attentive congregation of eager concertgoers. At the first sound of singer Andrew Hozier-Byrne’s distinct vocals, several members of the crowd couple off and dance with one another. Their sharp, mechanical moves closely coincide with the track’s tribal undertones and ever-changing cadence. The dancers’ meticulous, expressive choreography is contrasted with the rest of the crowd, which appears completely oblivious to the couples spinning elegantly in their midst.
Hozier-Byrne’s haunting vocals and cryptic lyrics create an eerie atmosphere, which is pair well with the visual of the swinging couples, robotically moving with the rhythm and vacant in their stares. Appearing as though hypnotized or zombified, the dancers move swiftly together across the littered church floor. Most impressive is the palpable intimacy of the dance partners, which speaks to the song’s underlying message about undying love.
From a cinematographic standpoint, each scene of the video is shot exquisitely. Producers utilized sweeping camera angles to stimulate the crowd’s constant motion and develop a slightly dizzying effect. Somber, cool shades of blue replace warm tones as the scene changes with the track’s moaning refrain. The producers’ experimentation with light and exposure added even more drama to the video’s brilliantly unsettling air.
Though “Work Song” lacks a definitive plotline or established premise, its sheer simplicity provides viewers with an opportunity to extract their own meanings from a series of vague yet emotionally evocative scenes.
Featured Image Courtesy of Rubyworks Records