Music Video Review: July Talk – ‘Picturing Love’

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As creative as ever, July Talk pulled another great video out of the bag that doesn't nag but gets people talking.

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July Talk have been busy bees, quite appropriate for their seasonal title and the small UK tour they did toward the end of the summer. They’ve juggled gigs, music video releases, bird watching (see Danny the drummer’s pictures here), and a week ago announced that they would be opening for that little indie rock band known as Catfish and the Bottlemen on their sold out November tour.

Most recently, it was the release of July Talk’s new music video for ‘Picturing Love’, from second album ‘Touch’, which premiered on The Independent.

That catchy riff and Peter’s well worn white shirt are the beginning of a complex maze of voyeurism and consumerism that challenges the porn industry and the consumer’s unequivocal belief in it. The two characters, Leah and Peter, are simultaneously taking part and watching these fragmented images, unpacking this notion of unrealistic expectations with every considered frame.

It’s deadpan until Leah ‘undresses in seven steps’ in this ‘man’s world fantasy’, playing to the camera and manipulating her appearance to satisfy the customer. In this heterosexually dominating world, it still is very much the male viewer you picture sat in front of the screen, like Peter, which then becomes confused as Leah too gets mixed up in the role of spectator in this relentless cycle. Every screen just morphs into another, and another, propelling it from an interesting and thought-provoking concept into some scary shit. People aren’t doing what they want to do, or acting how they want to act, they are ‘dancing to my expectations/ A tired fantasy’ and you’ve no idea which version, if any version, of Peter and Leah, are the real ones. Which couple are being real with themselves and each other?

And it all comes back round to this idea of human touch, this concept beautifully depicted by artist friend Charles Bierk for ‘Touch’’s album art, mimicked on the impersonal walls of the couple’s hotel room. The other rooms with the erotic images have been replaced by this desire for something real, a simple touch. Instead of getting off on the images we now see, we regress and hide within our own vulnerabilities. A cuddle is all the two can muster and all they want in a world where the expectations are much too high. And just maybe, in this way, their one night stand won’t be disappointed, and neither will they.

If you are lucky enough to have secured tickets to one of Catfish’s November tours, stick around for the opener and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

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