Axel Basquiat and Vincent T comprise the Parisian art-pop duo known as The Penelopes, and do they have something to say. Inspired by the melancholia of the ’80s and the bopping European rock-pop culture, The Penelopes deliver fluid, bursting melodies to keep you company on the loneliest of days.
Watch: “Roses” – The Penelopes
Atwood Magazine is proud to premiere The Penelopes’ latest video to “Roses,” a track off their most recent EP Leave Them All Behind. “Roses” occurs in two main settings including a desolated building with scattered debris littering the floors and a restful, isolated beach. Both feel gloomy, serene, and ideal for confronting battles raging inside yourself. A single text message lays the foundation for this video and the emotive journey that pans out. “Follow the roses,” it says. The man sets out on the quest to find the sender, Angelica. With no other whisper of the nature of this relationship, we watch as the man follows the scavenger hunt Angelica has planned for him. The scenes jump, overlap, and fade within one other to exhibit a chaos worthy of investigation.
The scenes within the building emit feelings of confusion and uncertainty, which juxtapose nicely with the clear cut, directive pushes and pulls that emanate from the choreography of the beach scenes. The man-made structure holds the man within the confines of societal expectations, but when he’s naked in front of nature the little voice inside his head urges him on a definitive course.
Roses bloom in the darkness
in the gloom
Roses grow in the winter
in the snow
The Ukranian artist Alina Gordiyenko directed “Roses,” and she describes the driving force behind the video, “The personal struggle of a man who learns to accept his feminine half. The pressure of society sometimes forbids us to accept our real nature. When the boy receives the girl’s message, his trip to the core of his personality begins, searching for the clues she left for him.”
It is winter
We ‘re watching
and we will see
Cause in the winter
We’ re watching
and we will see
The Penelopes themselves share that “Roses” is about instinct. “Our reality is personal – so if we don’t like what we see or what is happening, sometimes the quiet little voice of truth from inside us tells us what to do, to see or act differently. That little voice never repeats itself or nags us. Just because we don’t see beauty doesn’t mean it isn’t there.”
“Roses” bubbles with energy and pays tribute to people crushed by the weight of social standards, whether it be in regard to gender or any other varying label. The Penelopes remind us that even in the darkest of winter magnificence, can blossom like a rose – but only if we allow it to take root.
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cover © Reuben Wu
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