*UPDATE* The Lumineers uploaded a video today explaining the meaning behind the title track “Cleopatra”. Here it is!
When was the last time you watched a music video? How many of your brains just instantly shot you back to your teenage days watching Carson Daly on MTV’s TRL after school? You’ve probably seen a few music videos since those days but definitely fewer and far between.
It’s been a long time since I watched a music video (Ok, I’ll admit I’ll watch Rory Kramers videos for The Chainsmokers but that is because Rory is awesome) and after taking a few minutes of my day yesterday to watch the new music videos from The Lumineers I felt like I needed to share and I’m sure you will feel the same way.
Although it was last to be released, the new music video for “Sleep on the Floor” is the first in seemingly connected music videos. It shows a young couple fleeing from a funeral, which we learn later in “Cleopatra” is the young woman’s father who had passed. “I was sad and you asked it, as I laid in a black dress with my father in a casket, I had no plans” lead singer, Wesley Schultz, sings during the song. This can be connected even further back to their 2012 self-titled album in the song Dead Sea, “Your father died and you decided to leave”. The video goes on to show the couple getting in a taxi, and eventually an old black Volvo on their way to leave their troubles and town behind to travel the country together. We see their life together on the road, love and quarrels, a failed proposal, running out of gas, a new tattoo (that they actress actually got in real life; keep an eye out for it later), and a very important and intimate living room concert by The Lumineers themselves followed by the couple’s wedding. Of course the final scene shows the couple going to sleep…..guess where…you got it!…on the floor.
“Angela” is the next music video in the sequence which shows the girl from “Sleeping on the floor” grown up and pregnant. To make this easier on us all, we’ll call her Angela. The same Lumineers living room concert is happening with flashbacks to the previous “Sleep on the Floor” video showing the young couple at the show. Angela then drives to a motel with the lyrics “Home at last” heard in the background. The video ends with Angela laying in the motel bed, eventually rising from the bed, walking out of the door and leaving the keys to the room behind. I am having bit of a difficult time wrapping my head around the meaning of the hotel room and leaving the keys but it being the last scene, it must have some sort of meaning to the story! Let me know what you think!
Finally, fast forward even further to “Cleopatra” and you will see an elder Angela driving a taxi. She picks up younger Angela at the motel, which brings us right where we left off in the “Angela” video. It turns out older Angela also had picked up the younger couple from the “Sleep on the Floor” video as we see a flashback from when they got in that same taxi leaving the funeral. – So lets take a break here to make sure we are all on the same page. We just saw old Angela driving young Angela and her boyfriend after leaving the funeral in the “Sleep on the Floor” video. Ok so we don’t really know what is going on now but we’re following along. – As the video goes on we start to notice that all is coming together. We also see an exchange between string player Neyla and elder Angela right before she picks up what we can assume is her son from the airport in her taxi. The two stare at each other like they have seen eachother before (most likely at the living room concert). At this point we can assume that the once young and in love couple has been divorced. We hear the lyrics, “When I die alone” and “The only gifts from my lord were birth and a divorce”. The final scene shows Angela dropping off her son at a house where an older man comes out to greet them. We are going to assume the older man is Angela’s ex-husband and perhaps the young boy she left town with that day of her father’s funeral. Similar to what happens in the first video, Angela’s body seemingly separates, one soul walks into the house with the husband and the other back in the taxi, driving away and flipping on the taxi light.
The story and the way it is portrayed in these videos is something special. Does Angela actually leave the funeral in the first video or was it all a dream? Watch them, find subtle connections between them and feel the story and the passion behind them. Feel human. Spread love.