Asylums recently released the video for Who Writes Tomorrow’s Headlines?, taken from their recent album Genetic Cabaret. The lyrics revolve around “the puppet masters, those ominous figures that are pulling the strings and manipulating our narrative in the surveillance capitalism age“, according to frontman Luke Branch. The video’s ‘night-vision’-style visuals accentuate, to an incredible extent, these ruminations on the corruption inherent in today’s industries, bureaucracies. Historic, stirring footage of protests is then flanked by the band’s vitriolic performance. Branch’s lyrics are precise enough to be an almost exact fit for our current climate, but universal enough to apply to nearly any period of socio-political strife.
Filming of course became even more arduous due to lockdown, as many artists have found. Video director Andrew Delaney details this particular instance, saying how “we built our own outdoor studio, hung big white backdrops between trees, and filmed the band in front of them. Finally, we used some of the lyrics as slogans where they felt pertinent or poetic. Popular movements and people power can change the world for the better – they’re the only things that ever have.” The use of the footage came from the band’s and Delaney’s belief that “events drive headlines, no matter how much they may be misreported. So we started thinking about the impact of people power, the history of direct action from the Suffragettes to the Vietnam War protests, from CND to Black Lives Matter.” Delaney explains how it’s beginnings were in answering “the question posed by the song’s title,”, which is instantly clear upon watching. As Branch questions Who Writes Tomorrow’s Headlines?, and prompts several lyrical answers, the footage acts also like an emboldened answer. The instrumentation invokes similar answers, as snaking, quickened guitar lines follow the cry of “…the rule of law”.
Enjoy the video below, or listen to Asylums’ third album Genetic Cabaret here.