ABOVE: ELIAS. PHOTO COURTESY OF NINJA HANNA.
Despite a long artistic tradition of merging human bodies with doll parts, and vice versa, (take, for example, Cindy Sherman’s 1992 photographic series “Sex Pictures”), the act still manages to feel deeply subversive, shocking, and more than a little unsettling. Elias—the 19-year-old Swedish vocalist—aimed for all three in the video for his recent single “Down N Out,” which we’re pleased to premiere below.
Much of the video features the head of fair-skinned, blue-eyed Elias transposed on a body resembling that of a Ken doll. As Elias sings about the confusion and alienation of love gone bad, his arms and legs abandon him, until he’s simply a head in a box.
“I wanted to play with deep emotion and make it physical in some way,” Elias tells us. “My head on a doll’s body that slowly tears apart is pretty surreal, but still a feeling that I think a lot of people can relate to.”
The video was filmed using stop motion, so time moves in a dream-like way. Elias’s powerhouse vocals are ultimately what ground us, and—despite the dazzling visuals—what make the video compelling. “I like it when things are a bit weird, or just unexpected,” Elias says. “Everything gets so boring otherwise.”
ELIAS WILL RELEASE HIS DEBUT ALBUM IN FALL 2016 VIA WARNER. FOR MORE ON ELIAS, VISIT HIS FACEBOOK.