Hazlewood pens sweeping love-letter to his husband.
The serpent has a legendary mythos. The symbol of the slithering, carnivorous reptile dates back centuries and transcends peoples and cultures. Some believe the snake embodies mischief and mayhem, clearly linked to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; others find a replenishing quality to its dark mystique. Many others, see an even stronger life-affirming intent underneath the surface.
Australian pop singer-songwriter Ben Hazlewood employs a snake's unwieldy tongue and scaly skin throughout much of his brand new visual "Months & Miles," a sequence framing his yearning for his husband, who lies miles away from his touch. As a touring musician, the weight of time and space is a burden he takes up willingly, but it's not without its unavoidable sacrifices. "I'll be home soon because I love you," Hazlewood sings, fluttering up and out of his head voice, a wondrous exhibit of his vocal gift. In the background, the sky looms gloriously, as light peeks through the clouds in an almost Biblical display.
The video, filmed outside of Los Angeles, mixes somber, tightly-bound close-ups, doused in cool purples and blues, and home video-style footage of tender, intimate moments with his partner. It's stunning, captivating and heart-warming. "All these months and all the miles are taking a toll on us," he uncages, coming clean about his own anxiety over being separated for so long. His voice sweeps from caramel sweetness to a gravelly, rock-bent roar. The longing is palpable and, frankly, quite moving.
"With a lot of my music prior to this, I was often building up the production to try to make the songs bigger and more anthemic," explains Hazlewood in a statement. "But recently I've learned that I can achieve that sound and still keep everything really simple. Now what I'm focused on is giving the story and the emotion of the song as much room as possible."
By giving the song room to breathe on its own, "Months & Miles" blossoms into a larger-than-life anthem, especially for LGBTQIA+ individuals. That message is often strewn across Hazelwood's catalog, but previously, it has been accompanied with gloss and chewy Top 40 filters. There is more focused honesty here, living up to his talents. "What I love most about music is how a song can put you in a place of experiencing a real, honest emotion that you weren't feeling three minutes ago," he says. "If my music can be a guide in any way, and help people to have a moment of truth and honesty with themselves, that would be a great thing."
"Months & Miles" ( out now) was a co-write with another gnarly-voiced performer named Gin Wigmore, whose new album Ivory is among the year's best, and mingles pop and gospel in true Hazlewood fashion. The song is produced by Joe Chiccarelli, known for his work with My Morning Jacket, Counting Crows, The Shings, and Manchester Orchestra.
Watch the video below:
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