Steeped in a deep nostalgia, Graffiti Welfare’s “Volume” stuns with its acute attention to detail. A mixture of synth-pop, rock, and dance, there is a grandeur to the way that the piece creates a sense of longing. The color infused within the arrangement gives it a neon-glow to it. Lyrics further emphasize the sense of being far-off away from it all, literally in another place and time. Everything about it has a beauty to it. Rhythms are kept neat and tidy, making sure to move the song along at a brisk bubbly pace. Melodies here possess a degree of richness to them, for they cascade ever so soothingly into place making sure that they combine to form this fully realized world.
Right in the beginning of the music video they bring up a little, retro television set. Within this context they touch upon the similarities of other past-facing groups, particularly the faded sounds of Washed Out and the chilled-out vibes of Neon Indian. From there they allow stock footage to take front and center stage. Little shots of old New York City dominate the screen. Those who grew up there will recognize the vintage in subtle ways. An example of this retro leaning is how the MetLife building is shown as the Pan Am building within the video, dating the footage back a considerable period of time. People rush by through the frames at a dizzying pace, showing off the style of the particular time. Over this video the vocals seem to virtually rise above in hazy, dazed fashion.
The joyous part of the video happens halfway through. Suddenly the imagery gets warped, surreal, and more abstract. Music matches this evolution as well for there is a degree of care paid in making sure every single moment truly matters. Everything about it features its own sense affection. Even within the now much more experimental context that vulnerability of the sound grows and grows. Making the surreal warbled images even more reminiscent of the past they are given this chrome hue, recalling the gigantic fins of old cars from mid-century America. Quite a clever approach this helps to drive the point home that indeed theirs is a sound that feels rich. Layer upon layer gets brought into the mix, both in an auditory sense as well as a visual sense. It is a particular celebration to see the two elements synced up so perfectly.
Graffiti Welfare deliver a truly beautiful sight and sound on the shining light that is “Volume”.
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