The xx “Islands” video premiere: Destruction through repetition

“Islands”, directed by Saam Farahmand starts off with The xx‘s signature theme of symmetry as a kiss before the backdrop of a glowing x turns into a pop-art style of choreography as the band members glare coolly from a couch in the middle. The light behind the lovers is so bright it obscures the vision of the kiss while the lyrics describe how exciting the mundane can be while illuminated by the electricity of new love:

“I don’t have to leave anymore / What I have is right here / Spend my days and nights before / Searching the world for what is right here.”

Then the dance repeats, and then again, and your nerves begin to fray and your brain wonder’s if you’ve gone made to watch this little artsy dance on loop a million times. But then you notice that some small thing is changing in the choreography each time. The kiss sets of a different set of movements and the room gets darker while the bored audience and the dancers slowly scatter.

By the time the set is smoldering the man is kissing air and simply going through the motions of what once was a group dance Romy Madley Croft sings “I am yours now / So now I’ll never have to leave / I’ve been found out / So now I’ll never explore.” The sweet security of a relationship has turned into a fiery, tortuous entrapment.

The center cannot hold.

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