Featured on Vimeo’s Staff Picks (which, bless them, is sometimes just as reliant as the supermarket’s ‘Manager’s Choice’) Lorde's latest video "Royals" is definitely a good find and deserves some attention.
The video is directed by Joel Kefali, who has previously made music videos for the likes of ‘The Naked and Famous’, ‘Kimbra’ and ‘The Naked Chics’ and shot in his preferred confusing mish-mash aesthetic. Though unlike his previous work which gave us fragmented slow-mo lovemaking and babies dreaming of cats being chased by a severed hands, "Royals" parades just pure minimalism.
The video itself is set in the vacuous environment of endless suburbia and focuses on a bunch of aimless teenage boys, inhabiting claustrophobically clean rooms and engaged in dreamy non-action. Staring out of buses, laying in the street, a bout of boxing in the living room - boredom or contemplation, it’s hard to tell. There is definitely something about a lost sense of direction here and the repeated vertical lines in this video, interrupted only by the contrast of Lorde’s curly hair. All this is shot with beautifully sterile cinematography and brings a strong feeling of staticity and confusion, or maybe of just what it is to be a teenager.
The undertone of wry humour and smugness throughout the video, together with the slick geometrical aesthetic and clever editing make it a good match for the song, if perhaps a little too open for interpretation. So, overall, well done Joel!