British singer songwriter James Blake’s ‘Barefoot in the Park‘ feat. Rosalía has such a devastatingly melancholic music video, it is one of the most touching videos I have seen all year.
But, in the midst of all that melancholy and loveliness, what does it mean?
Because, as it starts, we hear the ethereal voice of Spanish singer Rosalía as a butterfly flaps its way through a dusk sky.
The butterfly flies towards two upended cars in the middle of a deserted street and in flames. Cars that have obviously crashed into each other.
Outside the burning cars stand two children. A boy and a girl with dirty, smudged faces from the smoke. The two stare at each other with blank expressions on their faces.
Then the girl walks away, and is soon running after a second girl who is dressed as a cowgirl but with angel wings. The first girl continues to run after her, pretending she is shooting her with a gun, as an adult Rosalía appears.
Now both the boy and the girl are walking but, as they do, an older version of themselves appears in front of them and their younger versions turn into dust.
All of this while an adult James Blake and Rosalía appear in similarly deserted streets singing ‘Barefoot in the Park‘:
If they take you away from my side
And I had to look for you
Even I would find you
Like the river finds the sea
In the last scenes, a time rift in the sky begins to open, and Blake and Rosalía are now driving towards each other in separate cars.
As the cars pass each other on a deserted road, the two singers look at each other in a split second of recognition. Recognition that wil almost immediately be forgotten.
The video then cuts back to the burning cars, and to the same little boy and girl.
It is then we realize, the two singers are the boy and the girl, and that both of them died in a car crash while still very young children.
And so, their destiny of meeting each other and falling in love will never happen. Illustrated by the children slowly dissolving into dust, showing that they never had a chance to grow up, and by the two adult singers passing each other on a country road in an alternate reality, and then driving away.
Blake’s ‘Barefoot in the Park’ is the fourth single from Blake’s recently released fourth studio album Assume Form.
The song was written by both Blake and Rosalía, in collaboration with Paco Ortega. It is also Rosalía’s voice that adds something so incredibly beautiful to this track. As critics have said about her, she is the flamenco singer that this generation needed.
Watch James Blake’s ‘Barefoot in the Park’ music video below. Isn’t that one of the most melancholic and loveliest pieces of film you have ever seen?
And isn’t that song gorgeous?