ABOVE: RYAN HEMSWORTH. PHOTO COURTESY OF TONJE THILESEN.
In the new video for Ryan Hemsworth‘s single “Holy,” the Canadian artist offers an inventive take on the familiar nightclub setting: senior night. A collaboration with Secret Songs labelmates RYAN Playground and swim good now (formerly Swim Good), the video for the lounge-y, trip-hop-tinged track features elderly actors cast from craigslist, reimagined as the party-going protagonists of a sterotypical R&B video. “I wanted to see a grown-up version of the generation who lives for after-parties yet ends up bored, sitting on the couch on their phones,” Hemsworth explains. “There’s definitely a default Toronto aesthetic and mood for videos at this point, so we wanted to play with that.”
Hemsworth emphasizes that distinctly Toronto vibe by teaming up with his compatriots. “RYAN Playground and swim good now are two Canadian artists that I work with on the regular,” he says. “Secret Songs is a label and sort of community that helps friendships and collaborations take form. Everyone keeps each other motivated and open-minded.”
Though playful on the surface, “Holy” deals with issues of isolation and disenchantment within youth culture. Smoking in warehouse parking lots and decked out in athletic-wear, the tongue-in-cheek age progression plays out like a quarter-life crisis nightmare, posing the question: “Where do you see yourself in 30 years?” According to Hemsworth, “Sometimes you just do something or dress a way you’re expected to—the video kind of imagines if you kept doing that for the rest of your life.” In that sense, it’s a visit from the Ghost of Weekends Future that’s as sobering as it is amusing: “It’s really about nightlife and feeling disconnected when everyone appears to be in the moment.”
FOR MORE ON RYAN HEMSWORTH, VISIT HIS WEBSITE.
- Ask a Sane Person: Jia Tolentino on Practicing the Discipline of Hope
- Phoebe Bridgers and Brandon Flowers on Transformation and Talking Shit
- Talk Hole: The Karen Kolumn
- Donna Missal and Shania Twain on Creative Freedom and Owning Their Sexuality
- Adult Film Star Sean Ford Wants to Make Intimacy Sexy Again