Junip: Line Of Fire & Your Life Your Call
Junip have just finished touring with their second, self-titled album which came out earlier this year.
[If for some reason you aren't already familiar with Junip, you're probably (hopefully) a fan of the soothing vocals and intricate guitar work of José González. He is joined by fellow Swedish talents Elias Araya on drums and Tobias Winterkorn on organ and synthesizer.]
The first two singles off the album have been accompanied by a pair of interesting, and somewhat provocative music videos directed by Mikel Cee Karlsson. The 'Line Of Fire' video came out in late February, ahead of the album's release, with the warning "make sure you're sitting down". It has sparked an onslaught of YouTube comment wars and has had mixed reviews from critics, artists and fans. I personally had to watch the video a few times through before really understanding what was going on, and as one (probably anonymous) user said, it makes you feel... kind of awkward. I guess the best way to describe what's going on would be to quote the director himself:
“The video(s) tell the story of a tormented old man, stuck in a relationship that perhaps was not his choice, or preference to begin with. We see fragments from childhood, the first awkward kiss, the father watching over him. Making sure he follows the right path. The old man, like all of us, a person programmed by the convictions and beliefs of others. In the case of the old man, the unconscious suddenly manifest itself when a young, jeans wearing character appears in their home, forcing him to question who he really is.“
The video for 'Your Life Your Call' is a continuation from the first. And although you'd perhaps expect there to be some explanation or conclusion, I simply found myself slightly more confused and somewhat disturbed. I will say this though, as far as these videos go as an art form, they have done their job. For what better way to reach an audience than to confuse them, provoke them and stir up a range of through-provoking discussions that deal with life choices, consequences, religion and beliefs.
For now though, I think I'll just keep listening to Junip. I don't really fancy watching that creepy young guy with the braces again any time soon.