Today’s music videos are used to amplify the emotions within songs—an electronic song is made more uppity, a rock ballad becomes more raw, and the latest pop track grows more sugary. But English folk-rock artist Keaton Henson uses video in “Epilogue” to simple yet powerful ends to reinforce ideas of loneliness and melancholy.
The video is a single shot of Henson sitting in the backseat of a moving car. As viewers hear his tender voice overlaying the scene, they are forced to study Henson as he sits idly by, casually looking out the window, at his feet, or into his hands. At first glance, the shot may seem banal and uninspired, but the contained nature of the video makes the lyrics seem more real and heartfelt rather than a rambling into the platitudes of loneliness.
When coupled with the video, the lyrics adopt a sort of lived quality. It is as if the lyrics are the thoughts of Henson in the moment. His loneliness has a time and space clearly visible within the context of a single shot. This idea would be lost in a video that uses a collage of elements to suggest unhappiness and isolation rather than a concrete example of it in the flesh.
Later on in the video, black spots begin to appear throughout the image. Whether due to burning or distortions on the reel of film, Henson and the petite setting of the car are engulfed in a black cloud. Thematically, this seems fitting as Henson in the film goes about unaware as the clouds coalesce. In this way, the more nefarious and deadly aspects of isolation and loneliness, though unseen, can be just as damaging.
“Epilogue” is a pensive song and its video counterpart demands viewers to analyze its contents more stringently. Its difference in presentation makes its message all the more impactful.
Featured Image By Oak Ten Records