The single-take, unbroken-shot music video is a sort of magic trick, a way for a director to flex a near-unbelievable level of planning and control. When it works right, it can be stunning. But it’s also a difficult way to tell a story, and so it can be slapdash and awkward. I acted in a video like that once, and even though all-time master Michel Gondry directed that video, I don’t think it came out too well. It’s a real high-wire act.
Last night, Scottish synthpop trio Chvrches came out with their video for “Miracle.” It’s the most recent single from Love Is Dead, the new album that they’ll release next month. The clip, from director Warren Fu, is an ambitious one, even in the tiny subgenre of the single-take, unbroken-shot video.
The video follows Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry through a massive street-riot battle, one that clearly seems inspired by what went down in Charlottesville last August. While a cloud of what might be tear gas shrouds everything, two unidentified sides do battle in the heart of a city, with stuntmen throwing each other all over the place. Mayberry — or maybe a Mayberry stunt double — even throws down a little bit. Things get progressively stranger as the video progresses. It’s a hell of an undertaking, and you can decide for yourself whether it works. Watch it below.
Love Is Dead is out 5/25 on Glassnote.