“Clair de Lune” is a prolonged ode to urban malaise
With today’s video, expect a slightly longer build-up to the eventual fall. Two young women drive through darkened streets of an unnamed suburban environment in an older hatchback, talking and smiling and looking for adventure, backed by a melodramatic, tense, suspenseful track. Anchored by bells and warm, sumptuous synths, Christine Hoberg’s voice slides and spins over around and about like a hummingbird, pulling us along in her wake. She is hypnotizing, and the production backs her up effortlessly.
As the song pulls us along, strings enter the mix, and the video begins to build in tension. One girl has taken to stealing things from people she passes by in the obscure shops, convenience stores and cafes. It begins with a pack of cigarettes, and the thrill in her eyes is palpable. She glances meaningfully at her partner in crime, and the two share in the brief thrill of brazen law-breaking. The video moves on, and the mix moves on, as though nothing had happened, and streetlights pass overhead like moons in child’s spinning mobile hanging over the crib. “Don’t go/ tell me that the lights won’t change/ tell me that you’ll feel the same/ and we’ll stay here forever,” sings Hoberg.
But the girls’ misbehavior escalates, and soon they are stealing apples. There’s a powerful scene under a street-lamp where one girl swings her baseball bat, smashing the stolen apples one by one, revelling in the thrill of her adventure. Her friend watches in silent companionship. The track builds in meditative suspense, and the next scene is a shocker. Her shoplifting has become overly obvious, and the scene escalates to a scene of frank violence. The girls drive away unscathed, but something has transformed behind their eyes. Soon, in a turn of marvelous visual poetry, they pass an identical car, carrying identical young women, whose headlights are not illuminated. The video closes solemnly abruptly, just as the two cars are about to collide.
I first became interested in Flight Facilities due to their song “Crave You,” which was amped and twisted horrendously by some DJ compared to the original track, which is the version I prefer. That song was delightfully glib, rhythmic, and more than a little cynical in its sheer over-sentimentality. I like it, though because the song is honest and up-front, grinning in it’s sexuality and sensitivity. It makes me smile, and when worst comes to worst, that’s what I’m looking for in my favorite tracks. So check out Flight Facilities y’all… it’s worth your while.