tove_lo_moments_7Stolen Shots is a column in which our bud, fellow director Caleb Jackson picks apart some music videos that we love. Check out what he’s got to say, because it’s awesome.

Among most pop music videos, there’s a small influx of especially creative and complex videos that don’t quite fit the mainstream mold. Among other recent mainstream projects, Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money”, arguably Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” and now, Tove Lo’s recent video for “Moments” fit into this category. What’s more, there seems to be an interesting connection between “Moments”, and the newest release in Florence and the Machine’s How Big How Blue How Beautiful series, all directed by Vince Haycock. The two videos share very similar themes, dealing with self destruction and identity crisis, not to mention they were both released on the same day. However, the tone of the videos are distinctly different, with Florence’s resembling an art film more than a pop video, and having a more earnest perspective – but both work in their own ways.

The cinematography in this video is pretty spectacular, utilizing the wide spaces that are inhabited, most notably the wedding chapel, laden with a self aware neon light reading “Jesus Saves” and robotic onlookers, serving as human props. The grocery store scene is obviously something to write home about, but I love how the momentum of the video builds from the accident in the parking lot, into the store, and falls at the end when she overdoses from the pills.

What really makes this narrative work for me is the complexity that’s mixed with familiar pop tropes. The mixed psychological messages portrayed in Tove’s erratic behavior go perfectly with her uninhibited, explosive dancing. The tone of video works multiple angles, but I never feel lost in the narrative or performance. It’s a very well-crafted blend of both, orchestrated by Tim Erem, a Swedish director who has had a good couple of years, directing a few videos for Major Lazer and MØ. This video is his most mainstream effort to date, and could set him up with a bright future full of artists able to tread accessibility and personal flourishes.


Caleb Jackson is a director/writer/producer at Felt Film. He’s got some more music video reviews at Lowlyer.