Glass Animals have released a powerful music video for 'Agnes' (the final single from their Mercury Prize nominated 'How To Be A Human Being' album), which features frontman Dave Bayley struggling to stay conscious in a human centrifuge - a crushing experience that he describes as "similar to that horrible sinking, tugging heartache that comes only with complete and overwhelming sadness."
Previously, Bayley has said about the song: "There are varying degrees of autobiography and my own life in each song I write – but for the most part, that stuff is buried and clouded in fiction or blended with other people’s lives that I’ve heard about in taxis or at parties or on the street. But there is one song that stands apart from the rest. That song is ‘Agnes’. ‘Agnes’ is the one. It’s my favourite song on the record, and the saddest song I will ever write. Probably. I hope you like it, and I’m excited to announce it will be the next and final single from ‘How To Be A Human Being’.”
And about the new video, Bayley says:
"dear friends…nervously excited to share with you the video for Agnes. it’s hard to explain exactly how it feels inside a human centrifuge. you sit in a small egg-like pod about the size of a horse which hangs off a 50 foot steel horizontal frame. It looks like something out of a bond villain’s lair. it’s claustrophobic and uncomfortable and also incredibly hot.
slowly the whole thing starts to rotate like a helicopter blade. Faster and faster until every part of you becomes crushed under the extreme gravity. its like being slowly sat on by an elephant, or like your whole body being punched in slow motion. you have to flex every muscle and use every ounce of strength you have to keep going. breathing requires serious effort. movement becomes incredibly strained and almost painful. everything that once weighed 5 kilograms now weighs 50. its difficult even to keep your eyes open. it hurts in places you really didn’t know existed. veins and capillaries burst under the pressure and bruising begins. its a rapid physical overdrive.
the blood rushes from your brain making it impossible to think rationally or focus. your eyes are also drained and you get tunnel vision…only able to see small circles of the world directly infront of you and your sight goes completely greyscale…no more colour. your balance and spatial awareness goes and the world begins to spin like you’ve had way too much to drink. but the most striking thing is the way that the machine pulls on your heart. you can actually feel it struggling to beat and changing shape…flattening inside of your chest. Its similar to that horrible sinking, tugging heartache that comes only with complete and overwhelming sadness. and then you pass out.
we ran the centrifuge 18 times while i tried to sing along to a song which i find difficult to listen to at the best of times.
this was probably the most intense video-making experience I’ll ever have. But its the only way that we could just about begin to simulate for a moment what happens within Agnes.
Watch the 'Agnes' music video below...
P.S. Click here to read our latest Glass Animals interview.