The music video I choose to do my rhetoric analysis over is Indian Lakes “Am I Alive.” I stumbled across this song in my Spotify discover weekly account and was immediately drawn to its lighthearted sound and quirky/spunky vibes. The more I began to listen to the lyrics in tandem with watching the music video; I began to question what kind of message this video was aiming to convey.
This music video was produced by Triple Crown Records and directed by Sigismund S. Pikul. The date of release – much to my surprise – was November 5, 2014. The genre of music that this band falls under is a bit tricky, but is always what makes them unique and enjoyable to me! They have essentially blurred that lines between indie, post-rock, and alternative. The theme of the video is precisely what I cannot put my finger on. Take a watch, and then lets chat!
I think many audience members would initially listen to this song, or watch this music video and believe that it is talking about a bad break-up, and how difficult it is to process and move on from moments like that in life. It can feel like you are drowning, you can feel like – as the song says – a lost cause, and need friends to come and help pull you out.
However, on the flip side, a break-up could have nothing to do with this video at all! After analyzing this a bit more, I decided that I think this video is addressing the difficulties of depression and suicide. I believe he has a girlfriend, or a wife, whom he loves and he can tell is trying to help but is probably feeling like a failure because it is beyond the bounds of anything she can fix herself. I find demon/friends rescuing him from drowning dichotomy fascinating because, in those moments of utter despair, I could understand how friends helping would feel like a nuisance.
I think analyzing colors is my favorite thing to do! I find it fascinating that the girl swinging is wearing a white dress, symbolizing perfection, wholeness, purity, and innocence. I think that subtle clothing color statement supports my argument that they are not suffering from a break-up, or are in the midst of a bad relationship, but rather she is pursuing him with pure and sincere intentions, but he is not in a good place mentally which makes their relationship taxing.
There are gray tones throughout the editing of this video which creates a mood of detachment of indecisiveness. In the introduction of the video there is a book or journal floating in the water, with several other material items swinging around, but then shortly after this beautiful shot of dirt was edited in a way that looks golden symbolizing material extravagance. Maybe the are trying to portray that the material things of this world are the very things that are drowning the essence of who we are as people?
Joey’s body language is really perplexing to me, as he is sitting with this legs together, and hands folded in his lap like a little boy sitting at a desk in school. It makes him appear timid, and unsure. I think the lyrics, storyline, and age of the lead singer is precisely what provides this music video with ethos, pathos, and logos. Pictures and videos have the power to say a thousand words.