M o t h e r – Easy – music video

Most people will probably recognise Penn Badgley as brooding heartthrob Dan Humphrey from Gossip Girl. Unfortunately, I didn’t watch Gossip Girl. Shocking. My distinct memory of Penn Badgley is as the “Other Tucker” in John Tucker Must Die. I remember constantly thinking: “are those girls blind? He’s the real prize! Not that nonsense beefcake star jock John Tucker.”

Fast forward a couple of years and one movie portrayal of Jeff Buckley later, Penn Badgley now fronts his own band, Brooklyn-based indie rock band M o t h e r. However, those looking forward to seeing Penn Badgley in the music video for ‘Easy’ will unfortunately be quite disappointed.

With its monochromatic tones, brooding atmosphere and a detached sense of mystery, the music video for M o t h e r’s latest single ‘Easy’ is reminiscent of 50s noir. And you don’t get much in the way of action. What you do get is a still camera shot of a pretty lady smoking and tossing her hair about. The video is however very entrancing, very aptly capturing the mood created by the captivating percussions of the song and the dreamy, almost hypnotic guitar riffs.

Lyric videos seem to be all the rage right now. However, unlike many of the lyric videos abundant on Youtube, ‘Easy’ harkens back to the non-representational style of music videos of the 80s, such as Prince’s Sign O The Times, or even Bob Dylan’s 1965 Subterranean Homesick Blues. Its brutally minimalistic take on the lyric video is a refreshing change from the pomp and fanfare of the Katy Perrys and David Guettas of today. And in many ways it works, pulsing along to the rhythm of the song.

This music video then adds an additional layer of intrigue to what I already think is a great song. The unmoving camera frame centres our attention on the mysterious Girl, yet simultaneous acts as a fixed barrier between the Girl and the viewer. Her cool, almost careless beauty almost taunts the viewer. Tussled among the shadows, she defies the song’s lyrical assertion: “Don’t try to push it, I can pull you in”, because we cant. Perhaps, things are not as ‘Easy’ as they seem.

Keep up to date with the new and improved Penn Badgley with his band, M o t h e r on Twitter. 

Words by Desmond Chan.