Roasting marshmallows by the campfire, swimming in the lake, playing fun games with friends—a lot of people have fond memories like these of going to summer camp when they were young. This sense of nostalgia is exactly what SZA is aiming for in her new music video for “Broken Clocks,” a track off her 2017 album, Ctrl.
The video follows teenage campers at Camp Ctrl (named after the album, undoubtedly) as they progress through a day in the life at camp. The video features beautiful nature shots of sunshine and pine trees, as well as slow-motion shots of the campers running and jumping that make the scenes seem like memories. Clips of SZA dancing at different parts of the campground are spread intermittently throughout.
The song itself is very hi-hat-driven, with deep hi-hats that are panned side-to-side to run circles around your head, and SZA’s soulful voice is accompanied by synth chords that sound fluid and watery, yet airy.
Toward the end, the video cuts to a bleak reality, showing SZA on the floor of a strip club bathroom after getting in a fight. While this scene is a little strange and swerves away abruptly from the atmosphere of the preceding parts, it relates to the meaning of the song as a whole. Taking this ending as well as the lyrics and title into account, it seems that SZA wishes she could have kept time from passing so fast, and she’s singing about the struggles of life the way it is today.
Featured Image by Top Dawg Entertainment