A gleeful juxtaposition of electric oddness and sports

“Oblivion” fuses bubbly synth, atmospheric vocals and utterly joyful visuals

Something in this video just makes me grin. I don’t know whether it’s the many, many scenes of happy people dancing, or the found-footage, DIY feel of the video, or the utterly bewildering and invigorating music itself. It’s all a bit bizarre, whimsical, and odd, but there’s also something of the charming and avant-garde here as well that pushed it over the edge for me. God knows I love me a good dose of absurdity now and then.

There’s no plot to the video as far as I can tell, just images of a motocross stadium, a football game, and all the while a strikingly dressed, pink-haired Grimes just jamming out in every scene.she appears in. There’s also a mosh pit, a streaker at one poin, and some locker rooms. Too many locker rooms. Dancing, singing, whispy Grimes beckons at the camera, waving about and bumping into people around her, even jostling a bit with guys in the mosh pit. Long shots of bicycle jumps on the motocross track, a boombox, cheerleaders and screaming fans, weightlifters, dancers of all shapes and sizes, joining in to the beat of the music playing through her headphones.

As for the music, the song is a pleasant surprise in itself. With the energy of a Yeah Yeah Yeahs song,  but weirder and far less attached to traditional song structure and vocal stylings,”Oblivion” is backed by a pulsing ’80s influenced backing track sounds and a pulsing beat that makes it temptingly danceable.  Grimes has made a name for herself with her debut album Visions and her unique vocals in a barely understandable, ghost-like falsetto. Claire Boucher, the face under the moniker Grimes, shines in this video, dancing and jumping around and distinctly standing out from the crowd.

This is one of those videos whose charm is difficult to explain. It feels at times like a slice of hometown life, and at other times reads more as a sugary-sweet parody of athleticism and sports culture. But there’s no real line of critique, just joyful parading about by Grimes in her headphones surrounded by an atmosphere of overwhelming sports culture.

I’m not sure I can account for this video, but it made me smile, so I hope it makes you smile too. What better way to bring a smile to one’s face than good music, dance, and a neat video to start your Sunday? I plan to write a lot more often in the near future, but in the meantime, Happy Holidays, and good listening!


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