Monday, September 11, 2023

‘Blur’ brings Princess Goes into Focus

A black screen. A face appears. A haunting, ethereal, distant melody floats into existence.

The face appears pensive, thoughtful, contemplative. Pondering on some deep existential question, perhaps reviewing a life of regret, side lit to lift the monochrome face out of the darkness, the video to ‘Blur’, the new release from Michael C Hall’s band Princess Goes to the Butterfly Farm (aka Princess Goes) is an art-house, film noir visual accompaniment to the single. Not a visual feast, more like a delicate side plate of minimalist musical sushi. Elegant, simple, built on the principle of ‘less is more’.

Perhaps this is the result of an actor turned musician creating a visual presentation that is as much a one man mime show as it is a music video. Other bands are musicians first who learn to perform for the camera, some more elegantly than others. Hall’s considerable acting experience, notably as the suburban mass murderer Dexter, comes to the fore in this performance piece. It’s less of a pop video and more of an audition for something greater.

The face becomes a body, moving, flowing, perhaps dancing, slipping in and out of the shadows, touching, searching, weaving itself through an unseen story which is hard to rationalise against the lyrics of the song. Hall presents a character moving in time with the emotional experience of the music rather than miming the story being told as perhaps a lesser performer might do. It’s compelling, if a little unsettling.

The lyrics of the song seem to tell the story of a late night visit to an illicit lover, the relationship changing as it matures; “Don’t call me baby / Cause baby I’m full grown now / At best I’m but a blur if you remember me at all / At best I’m but a blur but you remain so vivid”. It’s a song to be listened to with intent.

The character turns away from the viewer and walks out into the darkness as the song winds back down and fades away, the lingering conclusion punctuated only by the appearance of the trademark crown/skull/butterfly image that features on the band’s website and the new album release, ‘Come Of Age’ which is due for release on October 6, 2023.

Princess Goes’ music could be described as a performance outlet for Hall’s varied talents, making the videos as much a ‘must watch’ as the music is a ‘must listen’. Like Hall’s character Dexter, it’s both hard to watch and unmissable, unsettling and fascinating, sensitive and raw, laced with details that require serious attention.

Peter Freeth



Image: Princess Goes by Shervin Lainez

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