"Every part of you is pulling me, so don't pull away," repeats J.Views—real name Jonathan Dagan—on his intensely emotional track, "Don't Pull Away," with Rhye's Mike Milosh. The two wrote this R&B-leaning cut together, as it appears on J.Views' 2016 album 401 Days, and now we have a music video to help round out the relatable narrative.
"It's about that final stretch of an ending relationship," Dagan told OUT, speaking to the lyrics Milosh wrote. "The time you're trying to breathe into the heart of a relationship a final breath of emotion so it remains alive. It's a helpless moment—you go, 'Please don't pull away' to something that had already begun pulling away."
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Tamar Glezerman, the queer director behind "Don't Pull Away," drew out this pained moment for the new visual, which stars transgender model/actress Indya Moore and queer model Elliott Sailors. The casting is a celebration of "women, women of color and LGBTQ people," and the treatment an exploration of power dynamics in a withering relationship.
In the video, we see Moore being filmed on a beach and performing Dagan's lyrics, until it's revealed that her lover, played by Sailors, was behind the camera the entire time. As the track surges into a dramatic final climax—complete with a stirring chorus and swirling strings—Moore and Sailors embrace in a heartfelt kiss.
"I wanted to explore the relationship between object and subject inside of romantic love, and how the same power dynamics may apply to the performer-viewer relationship," Glezerman told OUT. "The reason the cameraperson also turns out to be a woman, is because whereas I consume a whole lot of straight romance, as do we all, I don't particularly feel the need to produce it myself. The lovers in my work are gay by default just like most other screen lovers are straight by default. The difference is no one questions the latter as a default. So as a 'gay filmmaker,' I'm pretty sure I will be telling gay stories at least until straight filmmakers also start being referred to as 'straight filmmakers.' Then, we'll see."
Watch J.Views' "Don't Pull Away," below.