The size of a story


Stories are funny creatures. They can live in a single picture, or in a book several inches thick, and they are no less powerful for their brevity or length if told well. A picture is worth a thousand words, we’re told… Some are worth more than that. But we don’t need a thousand words to tell a story.

What I quite love are stories inside music videos, believe it or not. Music videos are an art form in their own right, and they are perfectly capable of telling beautiful, strange, touching stories. The most memorable ones are usually ones that linger on the strength of the story they tell. We have a deeper connection to narratives, far more than music on its own.

One of the greatest hits of the 80s: A-Ha, Take On Me. It was also an artistic accomplishment at the time, due to the heavy use of rotoscoping.

Now here’s something unusual: Snow Patrol, Take Back the City. This isn’t actually the official music video for the song. It’s the winner of a competition to make a music video for the song. I particularly love it because it’s not just telling the story of some guy’s night, it’s also telling the story of the city itself.

And this is WALK THE MOON, with Shut up and Dance. This has so many 80s callbacks that I can’t help loving it as is, but it’s also telling a weird, trippy little story all on its own, and having so much fun doing it. You just have to appreciate that kind of artistry.

I love music that makes me feel happy. Hope you’re all going into a good weekend, and you have music that makes you happy too.


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