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Owen Pallet Explores Love & Desire ‘In Conflict'


The video for the eponymous track of his fourth LP is beautiful and vulnerable.

The Jason Last directed video for the title track of Owen Pallett's critically acclaimed, Polaris-nominated 2014 album, In Conflict, can be a bit of trip the first go around.

It opens with a quote from Ned Rorem's The Paris Diary. Rorem, whom Pallett describes as "equally famous for being a sexual Olympian as he was for his amazing compositions," detailed his romantic assignations with the likes of Tennessee Williams, Leonard Bernstein and Noel Coward in his Pulitzer-winning memoir. This quote is from Rorem's patron and landlady Marie-Laure de Noailles, expressing the love she has for him.

From then the video veers into fragments showcasing lust, longing, and vulnerability. Deep stares, roving fingertips, being distance when together but not lonely when solo. It's a beautiful melange of images, shot by Jason Last and Jaime Rubiano on the shoreline of Long Island's north fork. There's an intimate coldness to the visuals and perhaps that's what makes them so stunning.

It's the perfect accompaniment to Pallett's title track. The synth and percussion heavy song interweaves both elements skillfully so that neither element detracts from the other or Pallett's vocals, which are earnest and spellbinding.

Pallett told Nowness, who premiered the video, "The song is about men; the ghost of my father whispering to me about human desire, and it's about this moment in your life when you start to recognize that your body is a series of apparatus and you start to covet the bodies of people younger than you. I don't identify as male, I identify as gender-queer, but I am very sympathetic whenever I see men throwing aside everything they have for the love of somebody new. It's been the subject of so much poetry."

Watch the video below:

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Alex Panisch