Lykanthea – Telos (video)

Artist: Lykanthea
title: Telos (video)
keywords: electro, ambient, video, dark, dream, music,
video research & words by: Tommie Anuspijp

Recently we have received a link to a very special dark dreamy music video. The video features the lead track ‘Telos’ from the debut EP named ‘Migration’ by electro-ambient musician Lykanthea. The video was shot in Chicago by E.Aaron Ross and styled by Laura Prieto-Velasco of Hunter Gatherer. Of course we should really listen to the EP and write a review about that, but as this video is so special we had to change the plan a little bit in this YIKIS episode.

This video just deserves an intensive screening and analyzing analyze.
This is what happens in the following massive text, so if that disturbs you and you have no time for this, than you are warned in advance. You can also scroll all the way down and check the video without reading the words that we collected here. Or of course click here and check out here EP instead. But if you want to go through this book of analyzes of this special music video than please be our guest and sit through this textual madness together:

Blackness moves over to the view of a surface made out of water. Two identical snakes stare at each other while the name of the artist prints itself over them in bold letters.
It’s as if ‘Lykanthea’ simply claims ownership of these poor snakes by name branding them in this video for a song named ‘Telos’. The snakes don’t seem to move which gives the video an awkward moment; are these snakes paralyzed? Are they barely images of themselves?
The screen changes, the snakes and view fade out to reveal a skyline with horizon of water at the bottom. Slowly the name of the artist fades out too, secretly marking the sky with a blessing.

^ The identical snakes claimed by the artist

^ The identical snakes claimed by the artist

Now we are left to our own devices, most notably our eyes and ears. But as this is a professional write up and I’m a male who can only do one thing at the same time; I focus on my eyes.. What do they see? Oh what do they see? They probably see the sea.
It might be a lake, a very large one. But as lake doesn’t seem to rhyme with ‘see’ we just imagine and hope it is the ‘sea’. The sea Is at the bottom and the sky is at the top. It is a bit of a cloudy day, or perhaps the back and white grey tones of the video makes it that way.

What happens next? A bird! A bird comes in view, flying from left all the way to the right.
With this spectacular happening and the bird removing itself from the view, the scene cuts to another. I’m not sure what it is what the eyes see here. It might be more water, or a surface of oily substance. There is no time to think too much about it as this specific scene is cut short.

^ a snippet of the video with the flying bird in the middle

^ a snippet of the video with the flying bird in the middle

The next shot that we can view in this spectacular video for Lykanthea’s Telos is in general black darkness with on the right the image of a sitting girl.
She wears a sleeveless black dress, seven black bracelets and is rocking a look of long hair which some of it is draped behind her and some of it falls on her dress in front.

Before getting the time to get used to this encounter and over analyze the situation even further, the camera cuts to a full front personal close up of the girls face.
This shot is so impressive and unexpected that it almost made me fall of my reviewers’ chair!
Her face is slightly highlighted by a dim light while the rest is dressed up in darkness. Her ears are nowhere to be seen in this situation, but the other parts like nose, lips, eyebrows, chin and …. Eyes! Massive big eyes that stare at everyone who will take the time to watch this video. She opens and closes them one time and some words come out of her mouth.

^ Massive eyes to drown in

^ Massive eyes to drown in

The thrill and tension keeps boiling in this video as the director changes into another shot. Most of the view is darkness with the exception that on the far left side the girl can be seen as she sits on her knees on the floor. She doesn’t seem to move which reminds me of the snakes that we have met earlier on. But before jumping from thoughts to thoughts the video clip shows once again the image of the oil-like surface… Now I see it! There is the lost ear!
And the ear is attached to a face facing sideways and it’s under the oily water substance!
Total panic in the reviewers’ office! Someone call 911, we are witnessing something important over here!

^ can you see the lost ear?

^ can you see the lost ear?

Before picking up the phone to report the sight of a missing ear, the distraction kicks in by yet again showing the impressive close up of the girl with the huge eyes.. They are the ones that you could drown in..

The view changes again and this time we get to see the girl from a different angle. We are still pretty close, but as she now face us sideways with a bit more light shining on top of her, she forms a nice contrast of the darkness that surrounds the rest of the view. This is a moment in which we can see that she has shiny black hair, a sign of good health and care.,,
But what… what!? Oh No! Some foggy appearance appears behind her and it’s no good!
Someone call 911! A hand, a very dirty looking hand covered in oil reaching out for her shoulder all captured in multiple camera points of view. This can’t be good! Or is it?
The girl doesn’t seem to react or be shocked or even mind the dirty hand holding a firm grip on her shoulder. Is she used to it? Is it perhaps someone she knows who does this all the time? Call off the 911 call… It might be a relationship thing!

^ a snippet of the screen when the dirty hand first appears close to the girl her shoulder

^ a snippet of the screen when the dirty hand first appears close to the girl her shoulder

…It’s raining men halleluiah. Or in this case it is raining red pieces of flower. A beautiful symbolic rain with its soft fluffy red, contrasting the pitch black that the video is shot in.
The next scene is the view of the floor with the feet, arms and hands of the girl nicely surrounded by the just fallen raindrops of flowers. The scene cuts again and we see that the dirty hand is still holding grip on the girl her shoulder while still more flowers fall down from nowhere. Is this a gift of affection? Is the owner of the dirty hand complementing the girl by letting it flower rain?

^ the results of flower rain and the styling by Laura Prieto-Velasco of Hunter Gatherer.

^ the results of flower rain and the styling by Laura Prieto-Velasco of Hunter Gatherer.

The camera focusses on the girl her face while experiencing this strange moment of grim beauty. It looks as if she has closed her eyes, not really aware of the unnatural phenomena of flower rain. Might she just feel it inside of her, or see it with her third eye? It’s obvious that as a viewer I miss her eyes immediately. She has such big eyes and now they are closed down, I can’t wait until they are open again.

^ oh no! the eyes are closed!

^ oh no! the eyes are closed!

We see a hand stroking her hair. I’m confused, is it her own hand or did the dirty hand get clean from the flower shower?

^ I mean it's a very dirty hand

^ I mean it’s a very dirty hand

Yet again the scene cuts to the oily water surface with the missing ear. It comes across as quite a disturbing scenery. It is a bit as if you go out jogging and decide to go for a fish and then stumble upon a side of a head with an ear attached to it. It really ruins the fishing and jogging experience, although it is indeed a great story to tell when you come home that afternoon.

But let’s stay focused on this special video analysis, as this might as well be a crucial point in the clip. The view of the missing ear and sideways face in the oily-water surface seems to change from liquid. The oily layer fades away and we even can see an arm and some vague moving things. The layer becomes cleaner; the oily surface changes into clear water.

The face of the girl Is back up for a frontal close up again. She answers the prayers and opens her big eyes to drown in. The flower rain is still going on so she might she something she probably likes. … The hand is still dirty and still there with the girl, now laying down on the girl her hands in a quite graceful and caring way. The hand also touches her cheek in a kind way while the red flower rainfall keeps on falling down on the girl her head. She speaks things, she talks to us and for some reason the strange tension seems to be of a lighter kind. Within all the seriousness you can spot a tiny imaginative smile. Sometimes we all just need a bit of a red flower rain to regain ourselves.

As the dirty hand is resting again on the girl with the big eyes her shoulder, the camera pans down in a vertical way. The flowers still keep on falling and when the camera rest at the view of the girl her hands, you can witness the whole floor now being filled up with fluffy red flowers who might smell nice.


^ the color that blinds the eyes

One dirty hand lays itself on the hands of the girl while another dirty hand joins in to rest on one of her underarms. This moment in time triggers a special effect as the whole screen turns into a slight moment of color. It’s a bleu mint color, very bright.. until it fades to black. The hands touch her shoulder and yet again the bright mint blue color blinds all the viewers in a spectacular way.

Now we can see an appearance with some kind of veil over the face, it looks a bit spooky for a bit. But as the colorful color red saves us from despair; it is all good.

^ the color that saves us all

^ the color that saves us all

We are back in close up form and find ourselves affectingly stroking the girl her hair and face; our hands appear to be dirty! The girl responds by opening her big eyes and giving us as the stroking viewers a good look. The eyes to drown in are drowning the viewers of this video so much that we can’t even be bother to be shocked that these dirty hands belong to our very own selves. The affection we feel for the girl that we had never met before until the start of this intensive video session has taken up a strange bizarre ‘viewer, be viewed’ relationship. This strange interaction and revelation that might as well be called a ‘mindf*ck’ that will leave all viewers in a strange mindset when the video is over.

The girl itself appears now in white, she wears a veil in which she mysteriously ends this music video with. ‘I have done it again with the power of my mind’ she might mumble behind her appearance. The video is over and so is this intensive video analyzes, but the long traumatic experience of realizing that we were the dirty hands all along might take a long shower session to clean up from. Are you ready for your mind f*ck? Than please do watch this video over here:

If you not only liked what you just saw but also enjoyed what your ears have heard in the video; you are kindly suggested to check out the EP which features this song and four other tracks. The cassette version is unfortunately already sold out, but the digital version is still available in large quantities:

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