Bloody Hell

Hey all! Today’s glorious dose of musical indulgence will be in honor of our crumpet-eating, tea-drinking, crooked-teethed friends across the pond. That’s right – today I will be writing all about a bunch of badass British singers and bands. You see, about two weeks from now, our very own proud pantaloons will be packing up a few pairs of her trademark trousers and joining me on a 10-day jaunt across Europe. Well, its not really a “jaunt” so much as it is a somewhat extended stay in London and a weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland. About all I know about Scotland at this point is that they have men in kilts, terriers, and the Loch Ness Monster.

What I know about England, however, is that despite their cockney accents,

apparent prudishness and lack of sexual prowess,

and generally stuffy nature (evidently leading to spontaneous combustion)

They make some sick ass music. I’m going to focus on just a few videos here tonight (mostly because boss BK says I have to) but I’m also going to make a playlist down at the bottom so that just in case you want more at the end of this epic post, you can get a full earful of Brit-chick-power.

Ignoring the close-ups on terrible teeth and the painfully rigid dance moves of the front ladies, what I found in these videos is a rich organic quality that we often lose in the highly polished superstar videos. Not to say that the British have a special copyright over the purposefully under-budgeted music video, (check out anything by La Roux and you’ll see what I mean. She’s cool as hell, but TOTALLY robotic and done up) but in these three videos that I’ve chosen today, the artists retain an innocent edginess that translates into to very visceral images. In particular, the theme that I want to try and highlight is: BODIES ARE THE WEAPONS IN LOVE’S WARFARE (wooooo)

The Ting Tings:

The funky duo of Kate White and Jules De Martino chose, in all honesty, an incredibly simply mechanism here. They resort largely to bright colors, bold patterns, and a video game-like stage set-up. That said, the panning in on the open spaces between their hands gives the whole video a textured, layered feel. Towards the middle of the video, they circle one another and begin to fight (again, cheesy like a video game) but it is made into something much cooler by watching their hands. It looks like it represents the layers of conflict beneath the surface in a relationship. In many cases, one of them is dominating the other by creating the open space on top of the other’s exposed chest, head, or shoulder. An especially cool moment is when they are sitting on the couch looking away from one another, and they open up a space in between their parted heads – as though they are revealing the conflict underneath their quiet, tension-filled posture on the couch.

Ellie Goulding

This is the easiest to see what I’m talking about in terms of bodily expression. Check out the last run of the chorus, which starts around 2:50. Watch the dancers behind Ellie (and attempt to ignore her dancing, which is not great). I love the image of these armies of lovers fighting SLASH dancing. They are using their bodies to imitate a wartime battle, but they are doing it through the typically romantic/sensual act of dancing! They clutch hands and swing each other around and you can’t tell whether they are killing one another or falling into bed together.

Florence and the Machine:
Lets give this site a try….

Who knows what that will look like.

Anywayyyyyy, we all know Florence and the Machine from the “Eat, Pray, Love” commercial and, more importantly, the glee episode. The rest of her album, however, is much darker and has delightfully sinful feel. Even before talking about the video itself, just check out her fire-red hair, black leather bodice and pseudo-modest cape that does more to add to sex appeal than hide it. All of her movement mimics the “drumming” of the song, and all of it is raw, uncontrollable, and ecstatic. Housed inside and in contrast to the church, her dancing inverts the ritual of the space and turns the video into a devilish tribute to physical arousal and the terror of love’s embrace.

IN CONCLUSION: I love this (and other) British music – in particular, the reckless front-women who make these videos so tacky and cool at the same time.

Here is a playlist for your enjoyment:

Peace out girl and boy scouts,

p.s. I do think British accents are always funny.