Music Video Relapse: "Tongue Tied" (2011) by Grouplove

Posted by Adam Fairholm on January 13, 2014 in Music Video Relapse

Staff Post



If you spend any amount of time watching music videos, you've probably come across your fair share of "backwards" videos. When you think about it, music videos are really the only medium you can have everything literally backwards (as in not just having your scenes backwards), and it's a technique that directors have frequently taken advantage of. From "The Scientist" to "Breezeblocks", there are many music videos that explore reverse motion in interesting ways.

So to honor the reverse music video, today we're watching one of my favorites in the category, Grouplove's 2011 video for "Tongue Tied," directed by Jordan Bahat. Let's take a look!

The video starts off with a mystery in normal motion (as reverse music videos often do). A guy is running, scared, until he drops head first into a kiddie pool in the middle of a field and passes out. In the morning he is being stared at by a family - maybe it's their kiddie pool - and then the backwards motion starts.

It's eventually revealed that our dude is being chased by strange masked men, and they chased him all the way out of a house party that he was attending (and that Grouplove was playing at).

At a certain point we start to get hints that things are not quite right. For one thing, when this guy is in the bathroom at the party, his shirt changed to the same pattern as the walls, and when he was on the dance floor one of the masked men singled him out in a threatening way. He didn't really do anything, so why are they after him?

Then we get the reveal: our main character has been on a bad trip the whole time - he ate something in a brownie and the people chasing him are just in his mind. We've all been there.

This is one of the things I love about this video - while having a complex narrative unravel with reverse images is a lot of fun, there's something oddly satisfying about having the cause of all the mystery in the video be a brownie with some weird stuff in it. It's like we're off the hook for some heavy plot sense making work we were prepared to do. Just when we are looking for a reason this guy pissed off some masked men, we realize he's just incredibly high. The fact that the guy's shirt is off and he passes out in a kiddie pool should have tipped me off, in highsight.

You may also notice some weird image blurring in this video, and thats because this video is in 3D (remember, this is 2011, the heyday of 3D popularity). I don't have 3d glasses handy, but the effect only comes in once in a while, and it doesn't really take away from the experience if you don't have the necessary 3D hardware.

Grouplove is not particularly heavily featured, although they are definitely present in the video. However, Bahat manages to get a nice (also backwards) segment in with Hannah Hooper. And as a bonus, as far as I can tell there are no iPod touches anywhere in the video.

Adam Fairholm is the co-founder and lead developer of IMVDb. You can find him on twitter at @adamfairholm.

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