The director: When it came to conceptualizing the video for their song “Defeatist,” Australian band Cameras chose to go the Hitchcockian route: They stood aside and let the director, Jens Hertzum, completely run the show. Hertzum dreamed up the concept for the video while listening to the band’s tense-yet-fragile debut album, In Your Room, which comes out on Manimal Vinyl on October 25. The Australian three piece’s only contribution to the work — aside from the song, obviously — was their friend Isabella Manfredi of the Preachers, who plays the lead role in the mini-film.“It was important for us that we didn’t interfere with what Jens was trying to achieve with the video,” Cameras’ multi-instrumentalist/singer Fraser Harvey says. “We let him take full control of what was happening, I think we’d have only spoiled his idea if we got ourselves too involved.”
The video: The result of Cameras’ complete and utter trust is a quirky piece of cinema that casts a wolf and a high class lady as potential lovers (anyone who’s down with Disney’s Robin Hood — or who’s into furries — will approve). The lady is smitten with the wolf, who seems to be mourning a lost love. She follows him around with a camera as he moons about the graveyard and digs in dandies’ bags for silver. He’s not a common thief, though. It turns out the wolf is after the glittery metal for a far darker purpose: to forge a bullet. At the end of the video, it’s unclear whether the silver bullet is meant for the wolf or the lady, who he summons with a letter asking for a “favor.”
The song: Living up to its rather downcast title, “Defeatist” is a dark jam whose opening lyrics set the tone by subverting the listener’s expectations: “I want you to stay … far away.” The narrator wages an internal battle from there on out, wailing: “I’ve got a favor to ask, but you’ve already done so much.” That favor, according to the video, is some form of death. “Defeatist” could be melodramatic if not for the dreamy quality of Harvey’s deep-timbred voice, which is similar in many ways to the National’s Matt Berninger’s baritone (with just a hint of Bowie).
If this video is any indication, the Gothic, supernatural thread that’s been running through pop culture of late is nowhere near unraveling (see: TV shows beloved by teens and 20-somethings alike, like The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf). However, this video — and other recent releases like The Real Tuesday Weld’s book soundtrack-cum-album The Last Werewolf — prove that fantasy isn’t only for the Twilight-loving masses. It can be a theme for some kick-ass songs as well.