Italian group OfeliaDorme are a four piece from Bologna consisting of Francesca Bono (vox, gtr, keys), Gianluca Modica (bass, gtr), Michele Postpishl (drums, bass) and Tato Izzia (gtr, bass). The band has recently released their debut album entitled All Harm Ends Here. The single "Paranoid Park" taken from the album has been released along with an accompanying video by director Serena Petrella. The video is said to have given the song a vision that recalls “that kind of independent American cinema telling borderline stories”, the song itself being named after the film Paranoid Park from auteur director Gus Van Sant.
The song is a delicate fabric of dulcet toned guitar riffs and Celeste like accompaniment, laced with the melancholy, moving vocals of Francesca Bono. The overall effect is a beautiful marrying of complimentary melodies, tones and textures that create more than a song, they create a mood. There is a subtle density within the musical environment created from the notion that while the tonal centre and chord progressions may not be vast or explorative, there is a self contained exploration which gives the song the density it expresses. This intense focus on small changes as opposed to wild jumps allows for the meditative mood so well developed in this song to come across and envelop the listener also.
In tune with the song the visuals are also very concentrated. They focus on a small scene but yet manage to display emotional depth and something of a story despite there not being any visual narrative development. The opening sees a woman run a bath followed by a still shot of an opened medicine cabinet which in the context seems to imply some sort of intended overdose as the lyrics forefront a depressed confession “All my friends are asking me am I feeling fine? No I’m not, No I’m not, No I am not”. The camerawork and cinematography veers very much toward a fragile treatment of the female character. She comes across broken, defeated yet with a classic beauty emulating from her sadness. There is a photographic approach to the shots; cutting is favoured over extensive camera movement. This technique strings together images in a delicate fashion complimenting the sensitivity of the song.
There are some visual and musical correspondences which work well, particularly the entry of the drums synced to the slow-mo visual of the girl crashing her hands into the bath water. However audiovisual synchronicity is certainly not the aim of this video, there is a more artistic route taken and in this instance it pays off. The visuals are so rich yet understated, allowing the video and music to wash over the audience yet leave a lasting impression.
This artistic collaboration of music and
visuals works interestingly leaving the audience with an undefined perception
of what is being said. This is beneficial in that people can take what they
like from it yet they will be intrigued enough to become enveloped. I could
happily hear this song played alongside the amateur video footage of kids
skating in Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park making the title homage a fitting one.
This melancholy, escapist, lullaby has a beautiful quality and the video has
perfectly assisted in creating this sensitive and pensive mood. A nice tune for
the bedtime playlist, I reckon the album has some similar gems to offer.