A few days ago, New York-based experimental singer-songwriter Autre Ne Veut shared the second single from his upcoming new album Age of Transparency, "Panic Room." Full of swarming synth melodies, the track has a chorus as big and overwhelming as a panic attack; but the official video, directed by Allie Avital and premiering above, is unnervingly quiet.
Modelled after a random Swedish Idol audition, the set-up of the clip should be familiar to anyone who's ever watched a reality TV singing competition. Autre Ne Veut—aka Arthur Ashin—walks into an empty room to perform for a panel of stony-faced judges, ready to assess and dismiss his every move. Undeterred, he gives a heart-wrenching acapella performance of the track, pleading, I don't want to feel like you are not here with me, and ultimately ending up on his knees. The panel (who are actually made up of his IRL manager, sister, and a music critic) sigh, twitch, and avert their eyes, before delivering their final judgement. Whatever they have to say, the video gets a big yes from us.