Long time no talk, friends. While we’ve been absent, Sydneysiders Polaris dropped a post-apocalyptic and cinematic music video for one of our top picks from their album The Death Of Me. Featuring the skills of Kez Ellis-Jones (director) and Chris Elder (producer), and conceptualised by band members Jake Steinhauser and Daniel Furnari, this video for “Vagabond” is absolutely worth talking about. Even if we’re a bit late to the party.
A sideways take on the The Wizard Of Oz red shoe “there’s no place like home” mantra, “Vagabond” muses on when “nowhere feels like home”. The song doesn’t aspire to magically transport us anywhere in particular to escape, but instead seems to inspire us to make peace in the discomfort of our differences.
For Polaris, a living-metaphor scene of discomfort means that viewers are dropped into a desert. Windswept and dusty, the five band members are dressed in primal survival garb, and stunning angles and imagery make for a breathtaking experience of distance and isolation. There’s nothing but SAND. Oh and riffs, delectable (sandy) riffs. As well as the band members being featured, we’re introduced to characters; people who feel out of place and are trying to make their way in the world as best as they can. To me, they represent each of us doing the same in our lives.
Following the song’s natural thread of endearingly tense verses followed by shimmeringly refreshing choruses, we’re taken into a mirage-like rainforest as a sweet reprieve. Coupled with Jake Steinhauser’s urgings to “Find your peace in a place unknown” and the song’s shift in mood, the experience is emotionally stirring; truly and slow-motion-ly depicting a sense of peace in the midst of something otherwise tense and uncertain.
“All we love we leave behind”
Along the way, connections are made and reassuring signs of being on the right track are found (such as with the rock cairns), and there’s something internally settling seeing that a journey through difficulty is simultaneously being taken by different people. They are alone, together, just like us. And again, the idea of being alone and not finding a place of comfort is hit home by the chorus’ lyrics.
Quickening and darkening and leading into an erratic bridge, I would have been completely satisfied with the video even if it had ended with the band playing to hues of the setting sun; with its vibrant glows of orange, pink, and purple. But Polaris clearly had other plans. Our dusty desert-travellers have walked and climbed and suffered and struggled, and now have finally found their kind, found their own people, found their sense of HOME, and it’s time to celebrate.
A joyful neon tubed festival of glitter and lights is made a zillion times better by the fact that the guys of Polaris are part of it too. It’s a full-fledged party of uniqueness and being alone INDIVIDUALS, together, and I can’t get enough of it.
And now I’m gonna watch it again. Bravo, Polaris & team.
ps. Polaris announced their Vagabond tour, hitting regional stops in Australia. Though it’s mostly sold out, keep your eyes peeled HERE in case more tickets go live.[Header image credit: Chris Elder]