Hailing from Long Island, New York, More Than Skies is a conglomeration of naturally talented artists making a unique breed of folk-rock. Met through mutual friends and music projects, the group brings together powerful instrumentation with soulful vocals. Influenced by artists as diverse as The Beatles, Elliott Smith, Arcade Fire and Radiohead, the US-based quintet (a sextet if you include their live drummer) have an honest, genuine and engaging folk-rock sound. The latest addition to their repertoire is the official music video for ‘What Keeps Me Up At Night’.
Typically, I tend to veer away from music video reviews; however, when I came across the official video for ‘What Keeps Me Up At Night’ I couldn’t resist. Created as an accompaniment to ‘What Keeps Me Up At Night’ off their 2019 album Tomorrow Won’t Bother, the official video is a visual representation of the track’s theme of isolation, anxiety and haunting nostalgia.
“This song and video is about being haunted by your choices in your dreams and waking up realising you can’t escape reality. It’s about the doubts that we all experience when it comes to real love.” – More Than Skies on ‘What Keeps Me Up At Night’
Directed and produced by Bela Kolozsvari at Studio BK, the video adopts a film noir design to succinctly describe and express feelings of distress and fatalism. Beginning in a 1920’s romance style, one could easily place assume this to be a tale of love and joy; however, it is rather a tale of love and loss. To fit in with the flowing melody, dance is used to demonstrate the movement from pleasant optimism to menacing melancholy.
The dance between the protagonists is particularly intriguing. Not only does it merge with the dynamic instrumentation, but it evokes a challenge of wills as the young man attempts to win over the young woman’s stone heart. When the “new man” takes the place of our fair hero, he stares at the couple literally dancing circles around him showing an interesting juxtaposition of isolation and cheer.
A video can be emotionally evocative in itself; however, it is the simplistic instrumentation that makes the visual representation truly outstanding. Heart-wrenching orchestral instruments lay a framework for hopeful whimsy within prominent desperation. Adam James’s gruff vocals only emphasise the poignancy of the track oozing pain, fear and desolation. Not necessarily the happiest of videos, but quite overwhelming in its execution, ‘What Keeps Me Up At Night’ showcases the beauty of simplicity in the soul-stirring track and video.