Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Terry Light premieres “Lately” on Medium. The song/music video is about beautiful people living in a beautiful place, where everyone is obsessed by a lust for approbation born out of technology and social media.
The video is significant for two reasons: one, it’s a marvelous cinematic work of art; and two, the video wasn’t shot for the song. Rather filmmaker/director Kailee McGee heard the song, fell under its spell, and decided to use it in her film The Person I Am When No One Is Looking. The coalescence of visuals and music is exquisitely perfect, showcasing the inarticulate cry of utter desolation amid an overwhelming need to connect with other human beings.
Mark Hadley, who produced “Lately,” also scored McGee’s film. All three, Light, McGee, and Hadley are friends and artistic colleagues, sharing a common creative vision: shrugging off the yoke of estrangement levied by technology and the ensuing sense of tarnish across the societal panorama.
“Lately” opens on emerging trickling colors flowing into a measured rhythmic beat as Light’s deliciously dulcet voice glides atop. When his voice goes falsetto, infusing the tune with dreamy, creamy savors, the harmonics take on irresistible effulgence, luminous and gossamer.
Softly glimmering synths ooze palettes of pastel tints riding alluring R&B textures lightly salted with alt-pop fragrances. The feel and mood of the song is elusive, tantalizing, yearning, and hauntingly seductive.
The video, directed by McGee, opens with her seated alone in her front room, polishing her online presence to a glossy sheen, when she makes a remarkably chilling statement into her smartphone: “But I think we’re all performance artists these days. Just trying to figure out who we really are.”
As she shops, drives, and walks through the city, it’s as if she’s been abandoned by the world, isolated and empty. Initially overcome by a sense of panic and frenetic searching, she eventually relaxes and begins to dance, expressing herself through physical movement symbolic of her increasing self-awareness. In the end, her movements become passionate gestures addressed to her place in the universe, poignant yet assertive.
As the video closes, McGee sits before her computer and reads: “She is alone, but smiles.”
“Lately” is sublimely gorgeous, exuding drifting dynamics and supple colors of embroidered delicacy, which, hand-in-hand with the visuals depict brooding absorption with enigmatic emotions. Definitely one of the best songs and videos of the year.