Dreamily melodic and unapologetically expressive, Quelle Rox’s “Tired” takes rejected love and turns it into a form of self-empowerment
It’s like a party for one in a place for two.
Having people mess with your feelings is tiring, especially when it’s someone you love. A vicious circle forms when you forgive them with hopefulness, try to make amends, only to have the same thing happen again. You feel blue, but your world’s a flickering merge of sensual pinks and red. There will come a point when the repetitive tiredness leads to laughing sigh and you think, meh, whatever. I’m just going to do things on my own.
Tired of thinking bout you
Then hearing what you do
I result to feeling blue
I’m tired, who’s really the fool
I run back to you
I result to feeling blue
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Tired,” the latest release by Brooklyn-based artist Quelle Rox. Lusciously melodic and unapologetically expressive, “Tired” is like a stream of consciousness circulating in a daydream. The synths plop and bubble in an aura of haziness while proclamations of tiredness repeat themselves in a hypnotic slur.
The “Tired” video visualises this mood. Filmed in a hotel room smothered in romance, there’s a full bath of foaming bubbles and overflowing glasses of champaign. A glow of a seductive neon pink flickers restlessly as psychedelic snapshots transition from dancing on the bed to moodily singing into a phone. It’s a twisted kind of romance, a middle finger up to relationships and an eventual embracing of being alone.
“I wanted to shoot the video in a love motel,” Quelle Rox tells Atwood Magazine. “I thought it was cool to be by my lonesome in a place where people come for love as a unit. It was very symbolic of my situation and the whole sentiment of the song.” As a result, Quelle Rox (a play on her name Raquelle) fiddles with roses and mischievously lights a candle as though trying to set the whole stick on fire. Things indexical of couples and precious intimacies become sad, mistreated, as though Quelle Rox’s time in the suite is representation of her relationship.
“I think the champagne and other scenes kind of contrast the somber tone and embrace the solitude,” Quelle Rox explains. “It’s like a party for one in a place for two.” And it’s true that there’s contrasts – love and loneliness, sad and celebratory – but these add to the whole hypnotic tone of the music’s production.
I’m tired, you get in my head
then show all your friends
Act like I’m fucked up in head
I’m ill, so ill
I’m ill, ill-er than you,
ill-er than her still but still
Nonchalant, dreamy, and engagingly low-fi, “Tired” was written, recorded and produced by Quelle Rox in her Brooklyn bedroom thus holding a personally handcrafted touch that draws the listener into their world. The narrative’s simple and melancholic but it’s delivered in a multilayered atmospheric way, encouraging us to revel in the misery and get lost in the moods. It’s the same with her previous single “Dream Daisies,” released in May 2018 – The positive summariness focused on in the lyrics translated sonically in a mesmerising daze.
Raquelle has full control of the Quelle Rox project. It’s something she finds important to project, helping open doors for other women music producers regardless of their nationality (Raquelle herself being Puerto Rican And Cuban). As a result, there’s an empowering quality to “So Tired” which is present in the video too.
“I’m very proud of the video because we didn’t work with a large team, it was all done with just two women, myself and my very talented, frequent creative collaborator, Kelli McGuire. All the photos and cinematography are credited to her.” Quelle Rox tells Atwood Magazine. The hotel that plays host to the setting is the Liberty Inn in Manhattan, a place “Where Romance Blooms” (states its website). In “Tired” glamour is merged with a retro and unsettling ambience as though the hotel is actually an abandoned, decaying one where all that remains are the remnants of past love.
Dressed in sequins, velvet, and a sheer black top under a slip dress (all separate outfits for added sense of occasion), Quelle Rox dances by herself. There’s close-ups of her eyes thick with sparkly eyeshadow and hallucinatory effects where she’s multiplied by three. She’s there – on the double bed, in the bath, in front of the mirror, or laid on her front flicking through a copy of Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City – alone and confined but she’s owning it. It might seem like she’s alone but the enthralling dreaminess that runs musically throughout “Tired,” pulling us along, means, without even knowing it, we’re kind of owning it too.
Stream: “Tired” – Quelle Rox
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? © Kelli McGuire