Music video Analysis 2

  1. “You’ll Be Mine” The Pierces is a single by New York based band The Pierces. It is the first single released from their fourth studio album You & I. It was released on March 6, 2011 as a Digital download and on 7 March 2011 on CD. The genre is indie pop and is an ideal video to analyse as it is of the same genre as our song we are designing a music video for. As a result, we can research what the generic conventions of indie pop music videos are, use aspects of the music video to inspire own and learn what audiences expect from their artists music videos.

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    “Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics (e.g. Stage performances in metal videos, dance routines for boy/girl bands)” A key genre characteristic of Indie-Pop music videos is the basis of the video having the performance element running alongside the narrative element. However, “You’ll Be Mine challenges this conventions the video is purely performance, the footage not illustrating the lyrics or meaning, which could be in relation to the fact that the song doesn’t as such tell as story, unlike Katy Perry’s “Thinking Of You”.

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    Many of the Indie-Pop music videos use a filter over the top of clips or the entire video to give a certain idea to the viewer e.g. memory, age to the video, or showing the footage to be positive or negative. “You’ll Be Mine” conforms to this generic convention, a colourwash filters the entire music video.

    The effect of the colourwash, mirrored shots within one frame and the dual footage effect, as well as altering the opacity to merge shots over one another, gives a very magical, supernatural atmosphere to the music video, which relates to the witchy, spell-casting lyrics the song features “Prick your finger on a spinning wheel But don’t make a sound Drop of blood”. “You’ll Be Mine” adopts the Indie-Pop generic convention of including many shots of nature or panning shots of scenery, the video having been shot in a field.

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    This not only relates the song to the genre more clearly, but adds to the theme of a magical, fairy-tale place the lyrics connote. The video, as a result is very aesthetically, having a beautiful setting and ethereal feel to it.

    “There is a relationship between the lyrics and the visuals (Either illustrative, amplifying or contradicting)” The relationship between the lyrics and the visuals is illustrative. In the first verse, there are numerous references to nature “grass”, “leaves”, “birds” and “sky”, all of which are filmed and shown in the abstract filler shots interspersed between the performance shots. The music video features the two artists in a field or forest, and there are a range of nature shots throughout the video, the idea of nature coming through in the lyrics as well as in the visuals.

    We could bring a blanket for the grass We could watch the black birds cross the skies We could count the leaves left on the trees The line “Prick your finger on a spinning wheel But don’t make a sound Drop of blood” connotes witchcraft and fairy tales, magic. This is amplified in the shots of the group of girls playing with glass spheres or crystal balls, the candles, dancing and lanterns etc., all giving a sense of the occult or at least supernatural element to the footage. The colourwash effect put over the whole video give it a very mystical feel, reflecting the lyrics. It could be argued that the relationship between the lyrics and the visuals in “You’ll Be Mine” is a contradictory. The chorus and title “You’ll Be Mine” and the repetition of the word “We” at the beginning of the verse sentences e.g. “We could count the teardrop in our eyes”, connotes surety and the idea of a couple getting together, however, the music video visuals are of women alone, or in a big group. There are no references to or shots of the men they might be romantically interested in, and the longing expressions of the artists juxtapose the certain tone of the lyrics.

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    “There is a relationship between the music and the visuals (Either illustrative, amplifying or contradicting)” There is a subtle amplifying relationship between the music and the visuals in this music video. There aren’t any obvious points of reference however, there are small relating aspects which refer to this statement. The soft beat of the sound of the wooden drum relates to the nature, floral setting of the video. The mellow, upbeat but calm tone of the music relates to the sure, but longing message of the lyrics “You’ll Be Mine” and the similarly yearning expression of the artists. The strong, constant beat of the track running throughout the video is used to time cuts to different scenes, e.g. cuts to different clips occur on the beat. At the beginning of the music video, between 0:03-0:07, there is a soft, running introduction, almost as if made by steel drums, and while this happens, there are visuals of a girl spinning around, which amplifies the music.

    “The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close-ups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work (e.g. A visual style)” The music video does include close-ups of the artists singing, both independently and together, however, there aren’t many ECUs nor frequent close-ups like on the scale seen in Katy Perry’s “Thinking Of You”, and Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful”. There are a range of performance shots of the duet signing, ranging in closeness. There isn’t a particular style developed or a motif occurring frequently across The Pierces work except for the fact that when performing the song, there is constant eye contact with the camera, like they are singing into it. Catherine (the blonde singer) is featured singing a little more often, suggesting she’s the lead singer in the duet.

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    “There are frequent references to the notion of looking (screens within screens, telescopes, etc) and particularly voyeuristic (sexual) treatment of the female body” The lack of ECUs or loads of close-ups in the music video lessen the notion of looking. However, the constant, piercing eye contact the artists keep with the camera heighten the sense of looking and be looked at. There isn’t much in terms of treating the female body in this music video sexually, much like with “Thinking Of You” and “Young and Beautiful”. The camera uses some close-ups but doesn’t focus in on the sexualised areas of the body and more focuses on silhouette and the figure, portraying the duet as ethereal and beautiful, rather than as sexual object. The effect is that the music video seems more sophisticated, and about the song and the aesthetic beauty of the footage, setting and artists, rather than about their individual sexual appeal. In music videos dominated by close-ups of the artists’ breasts, thighs, bottom and lips, the meaning of the song, I feel, is lost. “There is often intertextual references (to films, TV programmes, other music videos, etc)” The natural setting and magic fairy tale kind of atmosphere present in the music video could be a reference to a range of media platforms e.g. TV Programmes, and music video.

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    “Whether the video is primarily performance-based, narrative-based or concept-based and how elements of each is used in it” The Pierces’ “You’ll Be Mine” is very similar to Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” in the sense that it is also powerfully performance-based. The majority of the content of the music video is of both members of the duet singing the song using a variety of shots, from close-ups to fulllength long shots. There is some variation of abstract filler shots of nature, and the background of the set e.g. the field.

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