In “Fascination,” the second single off his upcoming release Sahar, Belgian-Egyptian artist Tamino continues to demonstrate his incomparable skills as a songwriter. The adjoining music video furthers insight into his profound artistry and nuanced simplicity.
Stream: “Fascination” – Tamino
In Atwood Magazine’s previous coverage of Tamino’s premier single “The First Disciple” off his upcoming record Sahar, the Belgian-Egyptian musician’s work was praised for its powerful simplicity. In his new music video for “Fascination,” the second single off Tamino’s upcoming release, this sentiment is reiterated tenfold.
I lack the colours
Reflected in your eyes
When you look up to the sky
To me they don’t seem to appear
And I didn’t cry
For that flamingo stuck in salt
Didn’t care for it at all
While you, you couldn’t hold your tears
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Tamino’s “Fascination” video, out now. Directors Bastiaan Lochs and Jonathan Van Hemelrijck said about the shoot, “We wanted to let go this time and just have fun while shooting this music video… driving around in one of the most badass cars to be found in Western Europe really helped. We went urban exploring. Jumping from waterfalls. Drifting while listening to Nirvana in the desert. you can really see that the fun translated to the screen. This feels like one of the more ‘real’ films I ever made.”
The playfulness that existed during the shoot indeed bleeds through to the video. As he drives through the desert in a vintage Dodge Charger, Tamino exudes contentment, ranging from quiet moments of bliss to moments of shouting and jeering as dust flies through the window while he drifts the car in circles. Lounging by a waterfall, there’s a calmness that radiates the pleasure of being alone in a picturesque natural scene. But the feeling of the song itself is a bit harder to put your finger on.
Has always fascinated me
You make it harder to believe
That I was ever really here
I try not to understand
Just try not to understand
For I’ve seen enough
To know where I belong
And you can’t prove me wrong, no
The simple string opening is unexpectedly delicate but is quickly followed by a major rhythmic drop, swinging the song into motion. It then flows between more moments of delicacy and moments of power, giving the track peaks and valleys at unexpected intervals. The lyrics, in typical Tamino fashion, aren’t complicated but they’re not exactly straightforward. You can’t see right through what he’s trying to say, they keep something for the imagination without being completely inaccessible. They’re poetic, but not so elevated that they supersede relatability.
The chord progression is also, for lack of a better word, fascinating. Following the logic that major chords feel happy and minor chords feel sad, the use of major 7 chords presents an interesting feeling in your chest, and with this song being chocked full of Cmaj7’s and Fmaj7’s the track feels emotionally multifaceted. The feeling that resonates is kind of ambiguous. In some ways it feels melancholic, in some ways it feels hopeful, and in other ways it’s both at the same time. Nevertheless there’s a rawness to it, a sonic wall of emotion.
The video acts as less of a visual aid to any meaning or storyline behind the song and is more of a platform to digest the track.
There’s nothing flashy going on, nothing to consume so much of your attention that you forget to listen to the song. There aren’t any glaringly obvious adjoining plotlines between the video and the narrative of the song, thus giving each room to exist as standalone pieces of art. They’re each deserving of separate attention as both are beautiful in their own right, but they elevate the enjoyment of both the audio and the visual through their collaboration. Just as the soundtrack to a film might not expressly detail the events taking place in a scene, the combination of music and video in a scene serves to support and elevate the moods present in each.
However, there is a connection between the video and the song in that they both present the artist in a state of meditation. Though we see him in action, driving and hiking and jumping off cliffs, his solitude suggests moments of reflection. Particularly in the times where he’s driving or laying under a waterfall, Tamino presents a very relatable image. Imagine yourself driving alone, music on or off, as your mind starts to wander and you’re given leave just to think and exist because you’re by yourself. That seems to be what’s going on here, just a guy and his thoughts and the open road.
Those modest sayings
That mean so much to you
With me they’ve never gotten through
I’ve always needed bigger words
But none of your colours
Can be found within the lines
Of the pages I made mine
And the more we drift apart
The more they start to blur
I tried not to understand
Just tried not to understand
But despite the musician’s solitude in the video, the narrative of the song is directed towards a “you,” suggesting one of two things – either that Tamino is in conversation, speaking directly to someone off camera or that he’s engaging in soliloquy, in which his internal monologue is being directed to an invisible audience while his physical surroundings aren’t privy to the thoughts he’s presenting in the song. The video inclines to the latter, given that he is both alone and not actually singing the song in the video. Thus we’re presented with a compelling slice of film- a day of quiet reflection and unspoken thoughts while we, the audience, are given insight into what those thoughts are.
Yet there are moments of the video that give deeper insight into aspects of the song’s meanings, be it advertently or inadvertently,
and there’s one particularly intriguing implication presented between a moment of the video and a line in the song. As the camera focuses in on Tamino lounging in the backseat of the car, feet out the window and strumming on his guitar, the overdubbed line goes “I’ve seen enough to know where I belong/and you can’t prove me wrong.” In this moment, his strumming in the video aligns with his strumming in the music, being the only moment where the audio and the visual physically connect. Thus we can observe that while he’s saying “I’ve seen enough to know where I belong,” he’s by himself, he’s in the middle of nowhere completely alone, implying that this is where he feels he belongs.
But the question then persists, who is “you” referencing when he says “and you can’t prove me wrong”? Given that he is alone, he could well be saying that he himself cannot prove himself wrong, that he shouldn’t second guess or can’t otherwise convince himself in what he knows to be true. If we take this work as a soliloquy, the “you” could be referencing a figure outside of the piece, one who’s not privy to what’s being said because they’re not present and that Tamino’s meditation is only heard by himself and the audience. But it should be noted that while “and you can’t prove me wrong” is being sung, the camera pans to a shot of birds in the sky. This visual then opens the “you” to a broader range of characterization; “you” could be the greater universe, nature, or a figure in Tamino’s life whom the birds represent. But we the invisible audience will never know, as this moment exists outside of context.
I’ve seen enough
To know where I belong
And there you prove me wrong
For when I recall
All the nights that we have lost
Waking in your love
I cry, I cry
There’s another nice audio/visual connection between the line towards the end of the song “I cry” being sung as Tamino stands over a waterfall. It’s indicative of emotional severity in a quiet but impactful way. There’s also the scene of him drifting the Charger while “the more we drift apart” is sung. Regardless of whether these connections between the song and the video were intentional, “Fascination” is another impeccable addition to Tamino’s catalog. It’s yet another example of his ability to take simple concepts and make them spectacular (though the verse “those modest sayings/that mean so much to you/with me they’ve never gotten through/I’ve always needed bigger words” ironically counters that notion). Superficially, the video is rather simple, though aesthetically pleasing. It isn’t flashy; it’s not over-stimulating; it supports the song in all the ways it needs to. But when its nuances are observed more closely, there’s hidden depths to its counterfeit simplicity, regardless of their intentionality. Given the promise that “Fascination” and “The First Disciple” pose, Sahar is anticipated to be something to behold.
Stream “Fascination” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!
:: pre-order Sahar here ::
Stream: “Fascination” – Tamino
— — — —
📸 © Herman Selleslags
:: Stream Tamino ::