You might need tissues for the latest installment in the Agnes Manners story. New single “Brilliant Blue” is another example of Matthew Gravolin’s honest approach to songwriting, and the Cian Marangos music video adds more honesty again, with a pinch of theatricality to tell the story and perhaps soften the blow.
The song is as much about grief as about Matthew’s life and his coping mechanisms. The stream-of-consciousness kind of lyrics speak like a culmination of experiences all expunged at once. Matthew explains how the song formed organically, saying, “For several months and in many places, I kept notes about how I was feeling about the world and my place in it after my father’s passing. Once the music for ‘Brilliant Blue’ came to me, I arranged the notes in chronological sequence, and made verses of the excerpts that frightened me to say aloud. I hoped that by being as honest as possible, I could rid myself of the discomfort I was feeling.”
As you’ll see in the music video, intoxicants are the cradling arms for a grieving heart, for better or for worse. While the drug use shown could seem gratuitous, it’s intended to be an artistic statement, and the masked figure appears to personify the role that alcohol and drugs have provided. Matthew describes it as being reflective of a personal low point, and it should be taken as such rather than any kind of encouragement or instructional video. Cian’s use of black and white, how it’s shot in Matthew’s home at the time, how it features a favourite photo of him and his dad, and how fly-on-the-wall it all is in what’s presented makes for an intense and moving watch.
“In the Brilliant Blue is you”
And the shift from gentle observations through to anguished regret is beautifully captured musically too. There’s nowhere to hide when you’re telling the world uncomfortable truths, and the process of witnessing this in all of its vulnerable glory has the impact of lifting the metaphorical rug of our own choices and lets the formerly hidden dust bunnies of regret or guilt fly. Well, at least for me it does. Rapid visual edits, stirring orchestration, and Matthew’s story telling juxtaposed with frantic attempts to block it out culminates in something beautiful and heartwrenching.
And there’s more of this beauty to come. Agnes Manners’ Fantasia Famish releases next month (18th September), with pre-orders available now. Matthew’s book of poems All’s Well That Ends (Depth Publishing book number two!) releases at the same time, and shares more of the experiences touched upon in the lyrics (a little preview can be found HERE). In the meantime, watch “Brilliant Blue” below, or find it at your favourite streaming places.