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The Jezabels – “The Others” [Matt Connelly, Australia, 2017]

Hayley Mary, full of grace.

The Others is a music video from Australian indie-rock band The Jezabels and directed by Matt Connelly. It begins with a low tracking shot of lead singer Hayley Mary – clad in short-legged slacks, white sport socks and Dr. Martens shoes with an electric guitar slung high around her torso – as we follow her onto an industrial set, where the rest of the band are in place and already performing. She takes her place centre stage in time to serenade us with the song’s first verse, addressing the camera directly.

Combined with the opening shot, the saturated delay and chorus of the guitar hook instantly signals us into ‘hipster’ territory, punctuated with a ‘New Romantic’ edge. The grainy VHS-style filter adds to this overall aesthetic. The intermittent wall projections in the choruses and strobe lighting during the song’s middle-eight add a kind of modern sheen to an otherwise retro feeling piece. There are some nice close-ups and hand held shots that give the video energy and vibrancy, with some good cutting between real time and slow motion images.

Connelly’s overall style here is tasteful and understated, taking care not to be needlessly showy and keeping the band very much the main focus. The song itself is a generic reference to 80s guitar pop à la The Pretenders, Joy Division or The Police. It’s an adequate performance video which makes good use of modern digital effects to refer to a much-revered and bygone era.

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