Jessica Says on the ugly side of pretty men with single ‘Rock Candy’
JESSICA SAYS’ latest release, ‘Rock Candy’, is a cohesive music video and track; it’s entirely obvious there have been no chances, no choices left unmade or accidents in its creation. ‘Rock Candy’ is about the painful misdirection of thinking something is sweeter than it is, and made abundantly clear, about pretty-but-dangerous men and the painful repercussions of giving into their youthful charms.
The clip features a simply heavily aesthetic- pastel with short bursts of colour, the red of Jessica’s lips, the green of the leaves she is ever so lightly fanned with and the glow that often cloaks the men, as nothing more than boys in a limelight. These careful, stylistic choices work well with the track. Jessica’s voice is unique, it doesn’t necessarily flow with a distinct grace, it’s got its own twang that makes it feel like it is near a parody of a husky lovelorn woman. But she isn’t. She is making a point about beautiful young men who get by on pure charm and the flourish of youth in their face, you can hear it when she quips mid song “I listen to your band every day”. You can see it as the men feed one another grapes, youthful hedonism in action – men with rosy cheeks, painted abs and fawning over one another and being the focus of the camera, under an objectifying gaze that they seem to be coquettishly presenting for.
Of the song, Jessica Says wrote, “It’s about younger men, masculine beauty in general, and all the romantic situations that are unsustainable but invigorating.” The film clip and song captures a similar attitude, both aesthetically and thematically to the 1971 film, Pink Narcissus, directed by James Bidgood. Pink Narcissus displays a pretty young man, lolling around a similarly lit apartment contemplating love, lust and himself in a similar nonchalant way. Jessica Says’ ability to place herself into this narrative, taking charge of being affected by men like this is interesting and definitely places great expectations on her upcoming album Do With Me What U Will.
The music video clip was produced by Amy Dellar of Indoor Fountains and features Darcy Baylis, Alif Dodds, Josh Lavery and Henry Tuck. The track itself was produced by Jessica Says, Darcy Baylis and Geoffrey O’Connor – an excellent team of some of Melbourne’s coolest and most creative young people. These pretty aesthetics are purely a vessel to convey a much greater message and no doubt, she will deliver it. Her second album will be out on the 19th of May and can preordered here.
WORDS BY LLOYD CRACKETT