I debated not posting anything this week. There is so much going on that it seems almost juvenile to talk about music videos when so many people are fighting for their very right to exist. But it is precisely in times like these that we need art – to comfort us or to help us make sense of what’s going on – art is what makes us human.
This week’s video speaks to war and oppression and making change. It is both intensely personal and sadly universal. It moved me to tears and took my breath away when I first saw it.
I will admit that I pretty much dismissed Thao & the Get Down Stay Down after their previous release, their fourth album, back in 2016. CBC radio here in Canada played the heck out of it but always sandwiched it between the Canadian singer-songwriter sound CBC has become known for promoting. Nothing wrong with that, I’m just not much of a singer-songwriter kind of guy.
So I was a bit surprised when I heard “Temple” for the first time. This was not the Thao & the Get Down I remembered. Or maybe I mis-remembered. Whatever. This song is amazing!
This video is also a genius bit of interpretive dance. Thao’s mother was a Vietnamese refugee and the movements performed by the older Vietnamese folks, presumably refugees, are reminiscent of tai chi with subtexts of colonialism and sexuality and religion and parenthood.
Don’t lose yourself in the subtextthough. This song is really really good both lyrically and musically. There are so many poetic lines in here that it was very difficult to pull out just a couple to quote. And just try getting that bass line out of your brain for the rest of the day. Love, love, love this!
“Temple” was released on May 15 and is available on the band’s store on Merchtable: https://thao.merchtable.com/?