After bagging a Grammy nomination for their astonishing album HEY WHAT, Low have released another new video, this time for ‘I Can Wait’.
Despite this being the 13th album offered up by the Minnesota band – comprised of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker – the Grammy nomination is a career first. Given the wayward technical excellence of the album, it’s somewhat unsurprising that HEY WHAT is is up for Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical).
Directed by Manuel Aragon, the new video for ‘I Can Wait’ contains the same colourful realism that Aragon bestowed upon Low’s video for ‘Lies’, taken from the 2015 album Ones & Sixes. Reflecting the songs bit-crushed and intensely jagged production style, this new video is made up of a patchwork of jump cuts, which combine to paint portraits of individual characters whose lives seem to run in parallel.
Like HEY WHAT itself, Aragon’s video keeps us immersed not through action but by a pervading sense of uneasiness. While ‘I Can Wait’ holds the fragile form of a more traditional song from one of the band’s earlier records, (Things we Lost In The Fire, say) the fact that the music exists within an entirely mechanistic realm, devoid of any spatial character, makes it oddly brutal.
The video sees four separate characters waiting – and occasionally pursuing – something just out of frame. On an empty roadside, a food vendor waits for customers, while the other characters walk through districts decorated with vibrant graffiti, eventually winding up outside a locked school gate or chainlink fence.
Aragon makes a point to photograph these characters, not simply as individuals, but as people navigating an urban landscape crisscrossed with borders of one sort of another. As layers dissolve into one another, it seems as though our characters are desperately attempting to extract themselves from the four walls of the camera’s lens, which is surely the most oppressive border of all. At the same time, the simple harmonies sung by Sparhawk and Parker emerge out of the cacophony digital fuzz which once consumed them. Soon, we are left with nothing but their voices and a haze of ambient static.
See the clip, below.