Though it’s been almost a year since Jamie xx’s debut album In Colour was released, he isn’t done with stirring generous hype around his music. This month, he released a mesmerising and enigmatic video accompaniment to his mega-track Gosh, which captivated listeners and critics throughout the summer of 2015.
The video – directed by Romain Gavras, the creative vision behind M.I.A.’s Bad Girls and Born Free – was filmed in the abandoned Chinese city of Tianducheng, whose purpose was to mimic the urban plan of Paris, complete with generic Brutalist high rises juxtaposed with imitation Neoclassical architectural features and sculptures.
Set in a dystopian world, the video opens with a shot of our albino protagonist, panning out to a tableaux of a deep fuchsia den where opiates have been replaced with virtual reality headsets. The surreal atmosphere opens out into a desolate world, a metropolitan desert seemingly occupied only by our main character, his entourage who are all albinos like him, and an ominous emotionless army of bleach-topped, tracksuit-cladded youths, played by over 400 extras.
The narrative progresses like a chase. Our protagonist and his gang, cruising in an electric blue Subaru, travel towards the epicentre of the city, a hollow skeleton Eiffel Tower, whilst the amy march and run after them in pursuit. Their uniform movement and choreography accompany the simple yet striking beat of the song, and the track’s crescendo echoes the gradual buildup to the climax of the video, a pairing of sound and visual that is as intense as it is gorgeous.
At the height of the video, the revelation transpires that our protagonist is a quasi-messianic figure, as the army of youths interact with him with military synchrony: bowing, circumambulating, shouting what sounds like “save us”, and throwing their arms into the air. Filmed on a drone, this final shot slowly zooms away to show an aerial perspective of this choreography, allowing the viewer to revel in an epic spectacle, which, like the song, will have you saying no less than “oh my gosh”.
Watch the video via Apple Music here.