Known for a hazy, high energy, and unique style of electronic R’n’B, producer and founder of Astro Nautico, Obey City has changed up the pace and released a video for the song “Airy” off of his EP Merlot Sounds. The song features L.A. via D.C singer Kelela and is easily one of the slowest burns you’ve probably experienced in a while – or ever.
The video’s soft color palette complements Kelela’s crisp and understatedly powerful vocal performance, while the wide and expansive shots feel like they compliment the more boisterous instrumentation. It could be said that the nature of surveillance was a key theme for the video, especially considering the way that the video will kind of take a wide shot, freeze it, and then zoom in on a small portion of it. Undoubtedly, watching the video is some small insight into the mind of a voyeur; looking closely and noticing small things about the subject that the subject might not even see about themselves. The whole thing remains intimate from the outside looking in.
Independently from the camera’s movements, short sentences begin to form on the screen, whose meaning within the context of the video seems relatively subjective. As one of the videos subjects holds her face to a reflective surface, on the screen, you see the words, “The self is communal and involves a practice. It is rooted in a traditions and moves away from one community in order to create a different one with other images and cliches…It is dependent and powerless when something truly happens.”
The video, if you let it, is a truly fun exercise in interpretation. If you just consider how many ideas you can juxtapose and put onto it you might find yourself watching it for hours.