From the same stable to Seinabo Sey, comes Sweden's latest pop export Maja (pronounced Maya) Francis and her debut song and video "Last Days of Dancing." Premiering below, the video is a striking first foray for several reasons. Musically, the distorted guitar notes in the opening bars recall those first moments in the Twin Peaks credit sequence, and anything that tips its cap to Twin Peaks in such a subtle (and probably unintentional) manner sounds good to me. Secondly her vocal is lushly reminiscent of Kate Bush, but also—weirdly—in Maja's chorus you can hear traces of Tom Petty's verse melody from "I Won't Back Down." Irrespective of all these references, what we have here is a strikingly confident, soaring pop song with an accompanying video that knocks this whole combo out of the damn park.
It's a rare instance of the visuals really pushing the music and enhancing it in every respect. Every frame looks like a still photograph you'd hang on a wall, with colors that pop, and dresses too good to leave hanging limp in your wardrobe. It's a fantastical high fashion shoot in moving high def. Behold!
Not to give too much away, but wow, this video is worth watching.
As for the lyrics, Maja had this to say about the songs sentiment, and the inspiration behind the video: "It's about growing pain—about growing up and changing and not being ready to. How painful that process can be. It’s as if you are this flower bud that knows it will come out on the other side as a big beautiful glittery flower. But getting there hurts so much, so you hesitate."
She continues: "Sometimes when reality hurts I escape to other places in my mind. Fantasy places and real places. One of them has always been India. My mom and grandmother lived there for a short while in the 70s and they took the incenses, Bollywood music and the beautiful warm colors back to my childhood. So, being able to go to India for the first time to shoot my first music video was beyond magical. For seven days I actually lived inside of my own dream, and for once I didn’t have to escape. That’s how the video came out. Like a three and a half minute dream where you can’t tell the end from the beginning. But it’s somehow all connected."
Kim Taylor Bennett would like to float away wearing sequins lying in a rowboat full of flowers. She's on Twitter.