On Wednesday, St. Vincent released the music video for her track “Pills,” from her most recent album, “Masseducation.”
Directed by Philippa Price, the psychedelic video somehow captures both style influences from the 1960s-70s, and also futuristic styles through space helmets and a chrome and pastel color scheme. Through powdered grey wigs and elegant collared shirts, certain remnants of the Victorian period are present as well.
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The Space-Age driven piece of cinematography contrasts clips of U.S. spacecraft launches with space-chic styled models robotically swaying to create a disturbing look at the robotic, artificial nature of American suburbia and propaganda during the Cold War period.
Through the ambiguity of context and the blending of historical periods and futuristic visions, St. Vincent creates a space-influenced style that feels
The song — an eerie, indie pop allegory of drug reliance and abuse — fits perfectly with the aesthetically pleasing yet vaguely chilling (and at times disturbing) music video.
The video begins with various clips of the models, almost like mannequins, posed amid eclectic suburban decor. Their choreography, both hypnotizing and mechanical, begins just following the opening chorus, “Pills to wake, pills to sleep/Pills, pills, pills every day of the week/ Pills to walk, pills to think/Pills, pills, pills for the family.”
Through this, St. Vincent uses stylized dramatization to critique the widespread societal reliance on prescription medications. The stiff, mindless choreography represents the way these individuals just go through the motions, alive solely for drugs.
Despite the music video’s abstract video effects and scenes, its subject matter and purpose is blunt.
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St. Vincent is known for music videos that contain distinct aesthetic decisions, such as unified color schemes and standout, uniform fashion pieces. St. Vincent stays consistent in this assumption, in creating a visually cohesive masterpiece of a video.
Through the captivating visuals alone, St. Vincent got me addicted to admittedly one of my least favorite songs off of “Masseducation.”
The “Pills” visual comes after the prior releases of the music videos for “Los Ageless” and “New York” off of the same album. As St. Vincent continues her tour, she cements the album’s star quality.