The Town Heroes released a video for their song ‘Thought Police’ today. Poignantly timed to instill a deep sense of fear into us, the band hope it serves as a reminder that we might come through it okay if we can manage to stick together.
The video follows a young Ron Weasley as he plays a game of Hansel & Gretel with the Slender Man through the woods of Newfoundland. It’s a little bit of whimsy, like Arcade Fire’s ‘Wake Up’ set to Where The Wild Things Are, or the woodsy adventure of Jenn Grant’s recent ‘Galaxies’, but somewhere along the line it’s ventured into your worst nightmares.
The fact that the title of the song, ‘Thought Police’ is a reference to George Orwell’s 1984 is an apt comparison to the dystopian present we find ourselves in after the events of this week. Sales of Orwell’s 1984 have recently spiked with the sudden uptick of ‘Alternative Facts’. The band says that the video is “thematically pointing out the growing divide in the modern world, but alluding to the fact that no matter what, together – through strength in numbers and helping each other – we can get through it all.”
The band aren’t featured in the video however, and there’s no way we can be certain if they watched the very end. It leaves off with a bleak outlook. But it’s early days, and we’ve only just poked our heads into this gaping maw of a tunnel, let alone glimpsed the light at the end of it. For all we know it’s a luxurious diamond-encrusted gold-plated hallway. The biggest and best we’ve ever seen. We were just too busy watching the lying media to notice, or maybe the new flooring was set down in a pattern that only made it look longer and darker. No doubt more people passed through that luxury hallway than any hallway before it.
“Thought Police is a simple video, shoot beautifully, with a great young actor, and leaves a lot up for the imagination. We’re really excited to get it out,” say The Town Heroes. “There’s one actor, Nicholas Keough. The director was Cody Westman from Cats Eye Cinema. He’s a friend we met at the finals for the Radio Star Songwriting Challenge in 2011. We were representing Nova Scotia and him Newfoundland. We’ve been pals ever since.”
Much like a lot of facts these days, the band aren’t certain where the idea for the video came from. It gets creative in a way that is likely true to a lot of childhood experiences, but ultimately blurs those lines of reality. “[Westman] kind of created something where we’re not sure if it’s real or his imagination in the end. Like the modern world, we sometimes have to sift through things to find out what’s truly real. I think the video will have a different meaning for everyone watching it – which is great. We’re not in it, and didn’t come up with the idea… so I think we’re allowed to say that’s it’s pretty awesome.”
“Our entire last album was kind of created with the current political atmosphere in mind… not necessarily Donald Trump being President, but it feels like there’s been something building for a while now. We ultimately are trying to be hopeful in what we’re doing and put a positive message out there, but with that, the negative has to be brought to attention as well.”
The band say that the emphasis of the song can really be found in its chorus. It’s the belief that although we might be trapped in some poorly lit, media befuddled, luxury hallway for the next few years, there’s still a hope that we, as a group, perhaps millions of us, even if its just one gender at a time… we will inevitably be heard.
“If we wanna make it, we can never fake it, we can never let them win. If we wanna make it, we can never fake it, we can never let them in … If we wanna make it out we gotta hold together, If we wanna make it out we gotta be bold together”
“It’s all about unity. I think unity and strength within it, is something we tried to highlight on the album. I think something like the women’s march on Saturday really epitomizes this No matter what happens, together, we can, and will, get through it all.”
So there’s that.
In other news, Donald Trump signed orders today that would clear the path for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, while simultaneously silencing the EPA and freezing their funding…