The music world is a very large pond but the voracious rock group have managed to make quite a splash in the last twelve months. Having released their debut EP and won two WAM (Western Australian Music) awards, they were invited overseas to play at Rock A La Buse festival.
They’ve returned home with a positively menacing new single, selling out the launch show for I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore. Now we get to see the gripping video that accompanies the track and solidifies Rag N’ Bone as an act to keep both eyes on.
Combining the charms of clean-cut rock with the twitching energy of grungier work, Rag n’ Bone deliver a video that you can’t drag yourself away from.
The band describe their tunes as polished scunge (for those who don’t know what scunge is, urban dictionary that shiz) which is somewhat of an oxymoron but more or less entirely accurate.
At times they can sound very clean with rhythmic percussion, catchy guitars, and singer Kiera Owen’s straightforward vocal delivery. But there’s also a sense of rising tension, especially on IDFAHITWAM, and when they let the edges fray it takes you off guard a little as Kiera ups the grunge and the hooks become decidedly more dirty and grime-soaked.
Rag N’ Bone are definitely a band you want to listen to but if you get on the wrong side of them, you can expect some vitriol to be coming your way.
Commenting on the feeling of being displaced in the world, of being unsure in your own body, and about the treatment of desperate and helpless refugees, this track is truly mesmerising in the way it builds throughout its four-minute runtime but is still punctuated throughout by these incredibly sweet riffs and slide guitar.
Gradually the track evolves from emotions of confusion and isolation to spitting out frustration, anger, and disappointment; with Kiera and the band, in particular those floor toms, blending perfectly to invoke an exponential urgency.
Lyrically, the song is an interesting exploration and call to action and the video is just as pertinent. Filmed in part within the isolated plains of a volcano, the clip zeroes in on Kiera as she stands within the desolate vista. Perhaps it is a metaphor for how she feels inside or how she views the current state of affairs, I’m not sure, but it makes for a beautiful and striking image.
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This is interspersed with Kiera walking through various parts of ‘normal’ society, not only done for strong contrast but maybe to serve the greater purpose of the message too. We see her in empty streets and striding past cafes, all the while singing intently into the camera.
It’s a captivating film because she is such a charismatic centrepiece, the intensity and emotion can be seen clearly on her face as she delivers her pointed lines, hoping those with the motivation to instil change are listening. As the track heads ever more energetically towards the end, so does the clip.
To finish we’re confronted by scenes of the band dancing manically in the dirt of the volcanic landscape, all their movements reversed so they appear pained and under duress.
It’s an appropriately uncomfortable conclusion to a production that makes you want to feel discomfort; makes you confront the ideas you are being presented with. You can’t take your eyes off it, nor can you zone out of the song.
It’s not always easy to write a song that is enjoyable to listen to while also clearly communicating a complicated plea, but Rag N’ Bone have managed to do it with aplomb.
The video clip is the faultless icing on top of what is a very neat cake, despite the sometimes venomous nature of the music. There’s no doubt, from what we’ve heard and seen so far, that Rag N’ Bone’s debut album will be a highly anticipated record indeed.