At a time in history where so many media headlines are concerned with picking sides, the subtleties and nuances of our lives are often the first things to disappear from the narratives. Instead, discussions becomes arguments, and arguments are reduced to agendas of the extreme left or right, liberal or conservative, men’s rights or feminist. It’s easy to forget that no one is ever all one thing, as Chris Rock famously observed. People, by and large, are complex and contradictory at the best of times and this latest offering from the French music producers and directors by the name of The Blaze is out to put the delicacy back into musicality.
The Blaze first appeared in 2016 with ‘Virile’, an audio visual introduction that was ambitious and compelling in equal measure, released as part of Bromance Records compilation Homieland Vol. 2 ‘Virile’ explored the themes of euphoria and camaraderie in a cinematic style that is quickly becoming their trademark. Word of mouth propelled ‘Virile’s views into the millions and The Blaze were awarded Best Pop Alternative Video at the UK Video Music Awards.
This year the collective return with ‘Territory’, taken from their debut EP of the same name. Both ‘Virile’ and ‘Territory’ combine to form a sequence of stories that dissect modern masculinity. Filmed in Algiers, the video for ‘Territory’ was produced by French company Iconoclast and is the expansive answer to the confinement in Virile.
Highly emotive, and once again immediately compelling, ‘Territory’ opens with a homecoming and goes on to explore masculine vitality and belonging. Immaculately paired with an Alt-Pop come Electro influence, The Blaze continue to carve themselves out as auteurs. Rhythmic and writhing ‘Territory’ serves as more than just a music video, it’s music of perspective, social commentary and conversation. Away from the hyper-masculine caricatures often served up as an alternative view to the white cis male western standard, The Blaze work deftly to illustrate a viewpoint of down to earth realism that remains beguiling. So much so that it caught the attention of Oscar winning director of Moonlight Barry Jenkins, who called this “THE best piece of art I’ve seen in 2017′.
Family, love, religion, brotherhood, friendship, home.
The ‘Territory’ EP is set for release April 7th on new label Animal63 (a subsidiary of French labels Savoir Faire and Believe Music).