By Charlie Maybee
This reading of Alchemical Records content is to provide a multimedia experience for our audience while increasing the accessibility of our content to persons with hearing loss, low vision, dyslexia, physical or motor disabilities, or are on the autism spectrum.
Richmond-based rock band, The J.O.B., is set to release their new music video for “Heart is Hollow,” which paints a visual story of a man being chased by a dark, clawed, humanoid creature against the high-octane sound of driving blues rock. Alchemical Records is pleased to offer exclusive access to the video before its official release on Nov. 19.
In the opening verse, lead singer Jim O’Ferrell speaks directly to someone who seems to be in danger as he sings, “I know the darkness behind your eyes,” noting that he “can’t get too close” for fear of being swallowed whole.
Additional band members include co-founder and lead guitarist Jason Crawford, bassist Jared Merrill, and drummer Brian Penczak.
As we move through the visual narrative, we see this darkness manifest into a creature disguised as a woman that our male protagonist is on a date with. Once the creature’s real face and claws are revealed, we dive into a chase scene that inevitably ends badly for the one being pursued.
If we read the narrative more abstractly, the video becomes a story about a sense of paranoia that slowly becomes vindicated. O’Ferrell is a proud long-time veteran, so it’s not surprising to see a narrative that explores themes of shaken and broken trust, and a fear of things that could exist physically or mentally (or both). As symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), The J.O.B. points to an affliction that is common among retired soldiers.
Reflecting on his time in the service, O’Ferrell recalls, “It’s a very real lifestyle, gritty and unforgiving of mistakes. A day can go from tediously boring to intensely terrifying in the blink of an eye.”
“Every soldier’s experience is uniquely their own, but every person who goes through combat is forever affected by it and connected to the people they survived it with. It gives a songwriter a lot to write about,” he adds.
He also conceded that most of the time, “the songs I write are from a more mainstream place where my purpose is simply to create a cool song with my friends, to rock and roll, and not necessarily to clear my head.” When it comes to “Heart is Hollow,” both perspectives seem to be working in tandem with each other.
“I want [the audience] to feel the charge of the electric guitars on their skin and the drums beating in the middle of their brains. I want them to rock out. I want them to enjoy the musical details, the darkness in the lyrical story, to feel a little dangerous.”
Check out The J.O.B.’s new video for “Heart is Hollow” below in advance of its official premiere on Nov. 19. This track has been added to our Alchemical Weekly YouTube Playlist.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Winchester, Virginia who currently teaches in the Dance Division of the Shenandoah Conservatory. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression. He also currently fronts local hard rock band, The Aftershakes, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
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