Premiere: Take a Step Back with Jack Killen’s Invigorating “Blood on the Floor”

An energized lament of relationship arguments, Jack Killen’s “Blood on the Floor” takes a step back to ask how we get here – and what are we doing?

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Jack Killen didn’t intend for his music to be a call for justice, unity, and national reconciliation, but that’s sure what it feels like right now. An energized lament of argumentative relationships, “Blood on the Floor” takes a step back from disparagement and denial to ask, how did we get here and what are we doing to each other?

Black Sneakers on Concrete - KILLEN

Black Sneakers on Concrete – Jack Killen

It’s time – it’s time we figured
this whole thing out

you’re something I don’t
want to live without

I know – I know I got
no better place to go

It’s like a goddamn scene
from the karate kid when I’m home

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Blood On The Floor,” off Jack Killen’s 2018 EP Black Sneakers on Concrete (released February 9, 2018 via Axis Mundi Records). The former frontman of now-defunct party band WORKOUT, Brooklyn power-pop artist Jack Killen first came to our attention this January through his song “Tired of Being Broke,” “bursting out of the gates at a breakneck speed, flooding our ears with warm, colorful and dynamic pop/rock that literally fills the room.”

KILLEN © Courtney Killen

Jack Killen © Courtney Killen

Nine months later, Killen’s EP is out and his music remains as refreshingly energetic as the day it came to be. Directed by Marion Mauran, the “Blood on the Floor” video comes at a particularly nasty time of divisiveness in the country, replicating some nifty old-school visual effects as Jack Killen sings for an end to the in-fighting. Jangling pianos and upbeat melodies get our blood pumping as five white-robed dancers (Bessie McDonough-Thayer, Laurie Berg, Jillian Sweeney, Jessica Cook, and Laurel Atwell) move across a dark floor, at times seeming to lacking direction, only to come together for emphatic, emotional, and very well-choreographed (Bessie McDonough-Thayer) bursts of physicality.

Such visuals aid in appreciating the searching, uncertain nature of “Blood on the Floor” – a song whose ultimate drive for understanding and connection is best explained in its own pre-chorus and chorus:

we fight fire with fire this I understand
but you’ve been fighting
with some holy water magic

and there’s flames across the land
Leaving blood on the floor
what the hell are we fighting for
I don’t want to spill any more
just because we can’t say that it’s over

“‘Blood on the Floor’ is a song about relationships which of course get down and dirty. A relationship itself is sociopathic, if that’s a word. It’s this way, that way. I’m mad, I’m happy, I’m unhappy, this is the best, no yes fugg off etc etc,” Jack Killen tells Atwood Magazine. “The song is about how much you actually spill when you’re in one, which is a lot. It’s not about physical violence so much as that, at times you’re emotionally losing everything. Even in the good ones, but god in the bad ones you’re screwed!”

Maybe it’s too much to equate the complex political landscape of America in October 2018 to an argument-riddled relationship; or perhaps, it’s the perfect lens through which we can all understand how we got to where we are today, and maybe – just maybe – start working through our differences. “Blood on the Floor” encourages all of us to stop arguing and take a deep breath – to look, listen, and think before we open our mouths or take an action that may not be in our best interest.

Stream Jack Killen’s new music video exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

“Blood on the Floor” – Jack Killen

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Black Sneakers on Concrete - KILLEN

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Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com