Too Late for a VMA? Florence and the Machine's New Video Is the Latest Mini-Movie to Tell an Epic Story

Photo – Jason Persse

With last week”s VMA nominations, ensuing Twitter feuds and what not, all signs point to music videos becoming bigger and better in this post-Total Request Live age. The latest cinematic music video to grace our eyes and ears is Florence and the Machine”s “Queen of Peace/Long & Lost,” a 10-minute mini-movie that debuted on NPR today. Victor Haycock directed the music video, which is a combination of two tracks from Florence Welch”s June album, How Big How Blue How Beautiful. Welch”s powerhouse voice is a bit more strained than usual on the tracks, allowing plenty of room for gorgeous scenery from the Isle of Easdale. She plays both victim and healer, with an ongoing bout of violence, in the abstract narrative. It”s ethereal, chill-inducing, horn-filled, and one of her best releases yet.

The video is just another example of how big-budget artists are turning the page on typical online casino vignette-style, four-minute music videos and instead giving fans something kind of like Odyssian narratives. Taylor Swift outdid the couture costume changes and manic depressive scenes of her own “Blank Space” with the May release of “Bad Blood,” featuring an impressive leather-clad cast and pyrotechnics galore. Meanwhile, Rihanna gave us an intense, drug-fueled melodrama in “Bitch Better Have My Money.” While some critics might say that this new genre of music video takes away from the music and is instead a theatrical feast of special effects, it”s nothing short of entertaining. It elevates the music by providing a back story and reinterpreting the listener”s original conceptions of the music. Flo”s new video is too late for a VMA nomination, but who knows, at the rate these chicks are going, an Oscar might be down the line.

Watch the full video on NPR here.

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