With intimate storytelling, Reuben and The Dark expertly craft a piece of music that portrays the tumultuous aspects of family and the connections we make in this world with an honest lens.
Emotion and music are practically synonymous with one another. Pouring one’s heart out into each lyric, hoping that the thirst and desire to be head is finally quenched is a goal artists alike share. To bear your soul and, ultimately, be left utterly vulnerable to the world is nothing short of terrifying – yet still humbling all the same. Through these actions, the listener or viewer is able to catch these minute-long glimpses into the minds of each artist, allowing them to be fully immersed in their world and feel the same pain – or joy – they do.
By sharing these moments in life, burdens are lifted, hearts no longer aching, and feelings of freedom felt. It is through the intimate and personal storytelling that Reuben and The Dark were able to experience such senses of freedom and of letting go. A bold and surreal confrontation of family, “All or Nothing” is an anthem of protest, love, and desperation.
My mother found solace in hiding her pain
My father a shepherd, no sheep to his name
I learned to keep all my feelings inside
With a mother to face and a father to fight
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “All or Nothing,” taken from Reuben and The Dark’s upcoming album Arms of a Dream set to release May 4 via Arts & Crafts. The indie-folk quartet of Reuben Bullock and bandmates was established in 2010 during Bullock’s solo career. Then, in 2014, the band’s debut – Funeral Sky – was released. The brooding melodies and fuller sound first heard on the debut are expected to make their return with the sophomore album, only this time the band’s comfort zone will be broken, musically and lyrically.
An album of trauma, Arms of a Dream dissects the machinations of dark secrets, unforgiving truths, and of dreams. Reuben and The Dark state it’s “about love and the inner war that can exist when the heart and mind are torn.”
All the things we saw,
they were not our fault
Never taught how to love
Never got to be young
These themes are interwoven throughout “All or Nothing” and its accompanying music video as the beautiful outpour of emotion and heart are not only heard but seen through evocative and tightly choreographed dance.
Directed by Kaelen Ohm (Bullock’s wife), the video showcases immensely personal and beautiful art forms in the form of acting and directing. Set in a dilapidated room, the viewer is shown a set of characters, each with their own story, their own skeletons in the closet. These stories are shared and expressed through dance – the holding, pushing, kicking caressing, anger, sadness, and love are shown vividly through each action, allowing for their stories to be fully realized and shared.
“Our journey in love together has been tested by many storms,” explains the couple. “This video paints a picture of some of those moments in time. The fragility and complicated nature of the human experience, coupled with its incredible beauty, belongs to everyone and hopefully we discover that more and more, so that we can recognize our unity more than we can our divide.”
Ohm goes on to further describe the music video by stating, “There is still such divide and segregation in the world and so much work we have to do in the line of inclusivity, tolerance and peace. There are however some very simple, universal elements of the human experience that connect us all – love, grief, belonging, identity – we all, no matter what our story is or where we come from, can probably find a way to relate to each other through various expressions of these experiences.”
The fragility and complicated nature of the human experience… belongs to everyone.
As tumultuous of a journey life and the relationships in it are at times, we as humans share that connection. And as Ohm described before, the sooner we accept that fact the sooner unity can occur. Watch the music video for “All or Nothing” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and be sure to keep a lookout for the album dropping May 4!
Watch: “All or Nothing” – Reuben and the Dark
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📸 © Kaelen Ohm