The Sound of Arrows – Conquest

…it’s beautiful.

Tim: This video contains BOOBIES, but it’s meant to be artistic so that’s alright.

Tom: That’s still enough to get it banned from YouTube. That’s what Vimeo’s for.

Tom: Is this featuring Jean Michel Jarre? Because that opening is straight out of Oxygene.

Tim: Not as far as I know, but anyway, it’s ESSAY TIME!

Tom: Oops. Sorry. I’ll settle down.

Tim: Now, I love these guys. Their album is one of the best I’ve heard in a long long time, and I don’t think I’ve ever gone even a week without listening to them. But to be honest, I’m a tad disappointed here, and that’s a shame. Partly because there are some vastly better tracks than this on the album (though it should go without saying that I still think it’s great), and secondly, and mostly, because that video really is…well, it’s a pile of pretentious wank, isn’t it? I mean, seriously, what’s going on?

Tom: I don’t know – but my first reaction isn’t to immediately dismiss it, which is strange for me. My first reaction is that this is a beautiful video. That’s the word that came to mind. Beautiful. The combination of music, colour, and absolutely gorgeous cinematography… it’s beautiful.

Tim: Oh, yes, it’s a lovely piece of work, I won’t deny that. It’s just… what is it?

The thing is, The Sound of Arrows are, without a doubt, one of the most, erm, sincere groups around. Is that the word I mean? Basically, they treat their music like art – the album is actually an album rather than a collection of songs, what with the way they go together and have an order they should be played in. The videos they make have something to them where you can tell that effort has been made into putting them together, so they go with the song in an almost cinematic manner.

Tom: And let’s not forget the music: this, with its proper synth line, has hit me a lot harder than anything they’ve brought out before. I didn’t just throw this away as glurgy, Owl City, bleep-bloop soft rubbish… it’s a fantastic track. I can’t think of what it reminds me of, other than Jean Michel Jarre.

Tim: It is indeed fantastic, as has been almost all of their output. And this is sort of nitpicking, really, because I wouldn’t analyse anyone else’s videos like this. I’m doing it BECAUSE I CARE.

Previously, we had Nova, with its message of huge devotion and adoration, and the video shows the two of them exploring this fantastic cave, always looking for what’s coming next and gazing brilliantly at what’s already happening. Then there was Magic, with the theme of how fantastic the world is, and the video showing kids exploring it, always finding new ways to have fun and enjoy themselves. Wonders was looking back at past times, with a video (which got put up after we discussed it) filled with clips shot and fiddled with to look dated compared with the filming of them singing. And then there’s this, which is…what? Am I missing something? Because I just don’t get it. And I hate that.

Tom: I think, for the first time, I do get it. Not in a meaningful sense, but some of the feelings and emotions they’re trying to get across. That’s a strange feeling for me.

Tim: I guess you’re right. I suppose I just want something a bit more obvious, really.

But regardless of all that, buy the album. Just, buy it. You owe it to yourself.