Most of you probably know Tom Walker from his song Leave a Light On. A big hit from 2017. Tom remains mainly a one-hit wonder among the general public for the time being, and it would be a shame if he ever goes into the history books like that. I recently wrote that many people no longer buy albums, so they are no longer ‘forced’ to discover more music by the artist. For the time being this seems a bit the case with Tom Walker. That’s why I’d like to focus this time on one of my favourite songs from him, and in particular to its video clip.
“There’s nothing to understand. I’m one with the lost and damned.”
Last week I wrote that I think it’s a shame that nowadays relatively little attention is paid to music videos. That’s why I decided to start a new series focused on music videos. This is the first part of that.
“I’ve drank all the remedies. Too young for these memories.”
Tom Walker’s debut album ‘What a Time to Be Alive’ was released in 2019, a title that is perhaps even more relevant in 2020 than in the previous year. It’s been almost a year since I first listened to the album, although I had already seen Tom live then; as support act for the British synthpop duo Hurts on Wednesday 6 December 2017 in Utrecht. The opening track on ‘What a Time to Be Alive’ is ‘Angels’. It appealed to me from the first moment. The rhythm of the song makes it a fairly calm song, while the musical elements make it a powerful song at the same time. A great combination with beautiful lyrics. This might make it my favourite Tom Walker song. And I’m lucky to have heard it live twice.
“There must be angels, guiding the way
There must be angels, saving our grace
There must be heaven for people who stray
There must be heaven in this hell that I’m living
‘Cause heaven seems to be so forgiving”
A music video for the song was released on 20 September 2018 (my birthday, coincidence?). I think it’s a beautiful video. The clip begins with Tom Walker himself taking a seat on an airplane. The lights are off. In front of him is a screen on the chair on which he can type.
“Where am I?”
“Doesn’t my life flash before my eyes?”
“What do you want to see?”
“Show me the beginning.”
This is the beginning of an emotional and nostalgic journey through the past. Tom sees images of his own life passing by, many of which are from his youth. After looking at the images for a while, he gets up and walks through the plane. He sees several passengers asking their own questions on the screens and making requests to see certain memories, all from their own lives.
“Show me the best day of my life.”
“What was the worst day?”
“Let me see my lost friends.”
“Have I been in love?”…………………………*”4 times.”*
“My top 10 kisses.”
Until now mainly beautiful memories, what suits the music of the song. But the power in the song is increasing, and the questions that are asked become more difficult and sensitive.
“Was she scared?”…………………………………………………………………………………….*No answer.*
“Did I make the right choice?”………………………………………………………………………..*No answer.*
For me, this is one of the strongest parts from the video clip. The question ‘Did I make the right choice?’ is typed, but there is no answer. A question we often ask ourselves, but also a question that we will never be able to answer, and of which we will never know the answer.
Suddenly the whole plane starts to vibrate. Turbulence. The lamp indicating that the seat belts must be fastened turns on. This happens exactly on the transition from the pre-chorus to the second chorus. Once again the music becomes more powerful. The penultimate question is typed in several fragments.
“When did I give up?”
The answer doesn’t appear much later.
And this is what the whole song ‘Angels’ is about. The video clip is about all events in our lives. All good events and beautiful memories, but also the bad and sad events we have experienced. Events that have brought us to the edge of giving up, but that have never made us give up. However difficult some events were; they have made us who we are. We have endured them. And the bad events never dominate the good events, no matter how often we think that.
Then one question remains.
“Can I go back?”
- Missing Turns in the Musical Journey of Discovery
- The Playlist that turned into a Musical Diary
- Backstage Revisited – Please Enter
- The Coverart Challenge
- I need so-oh-omething good..
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