LONDON songstress Alex Jayne, who’s released a triptych of potent, observational pop nuggets this year, is drawing down the curtain on 2020 with one final single, “Pictures”, again penned from the heart. Watch the Laurie Barraclough-directed video below.
It’s a slow burn with a grand vocal performance: fragile, yet still soaring, you can really feel the dislocation and the sorrow as she opens: “And I’m sitting in a hotel room / And I watch the light fade out of you”. The guitar riff and percussion seem in another world, adrift from Alex, blurred evocatively. It’s sweet melancholia with an almost goth shimmer.
“’Pictures’ is about breaking free from my own attachment to photographs from the past – and how easy it is to be seduced by nostalgia – to ignore the truth behind a rose-tinted lens,” she explains.
The accompanying video shows a girl trapped in an invented world of make-believe, adrift in a self-made reverie; comforting, maybe, but ensnaring as well.
Laurie Barraclough (who also directed the video for Alex’s last single, the cool acoustic-driven “Clouds”, which documents a moment of stark realisation) explains the thinking behind the visuals.
“For a song about a relationship that exists only in photographs, shooting the video on celluloid film was a no-brainer. Super 8 naturally has a very nostalgic feel – as well as a real home movie vibe: qualities that line up perfectly with the themes and lyrics of the song.”
A songwriter who’s said “[her] songs come from an incredibly real place”, it’s intriguing to ponder what 2021 will bring for a rising talent – and what Alex will bring to 2021.