I've been wanting to write this piece all day, but alas, it is 9:12 at night and I'm just now getting around to it. Still, I didn't want to miss the chance to write about the newest piece of the Weird! album puzzle. We got the song "god save me, but don't drown me out" with the album announcement (to read my article about both click here), and now we have a matching video. I'm super excited about all the new Yungblud content because I've been in a serious Yungblud mood lately. I watched his whole Brixton Academy set last night, and I highly recommend it.
Before getting into the video, Yungblud had a statement on the video shared on Twitter via the Notes app. He wrote, "this video is for anyone laying in their bedroom at 4 am wondering why they aren't good enough. i wanted to paint a picture of what depression really feels like, where everyone can be screaming at you but you just can't hear anything at all. i wanted the video to ignite a resemblance or a spark of self love highlight idea that if you ever feel like you can't go on, it can get better. you are brilliant, you are individual and there has only ever been only one of you and there only ever will be one of you. don't be afraid to ask for help. everyone has their own inner teddy bear, all gotta do is just let it out. it might just save your life. 🖤"
The teddy bear comment will make more sense in a second, but it was a sweet message that I wanted to use as a preface to the discussion. It's what I love about Yungblud. He goes to plenty of dark, dark places that hold an essence of universal understanding for the outcasts, but he always brings it back to a place of hope. A place of affirming that you're exactly who you're supposed to be. He lives it, owning every bit of makeup, weird haircut, skirt, and controversial lyric. And I think he does it all so proudly because he gets that living his truth, however it decides to look that morning, has the chance to impact someone else's life. Make them believe that they can be just as epic by being themselves. That's such a beautiful core message, and he's always talking about the fandom being a family. It's something that's really drawn me in. I also love how excited he is on Instagram stories leading up to every release. It's impossible not to get amped about what's to come while you're watching him. I love that this video is an expansion on that idea. Cause as much as I love hardcore punk Yungblud that sometimes puts me out of my comfort zone, I especially love when he focuses on mental health causes and bringing a voice to that.
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god save me , but don’t drown me out music video out tomorrow 9am (PST). this is the first video ive ever directed and i think this is one of the most important videos we have ever made. life can get so hard but remember you are not alone. i hope it helps you as much as it’s helped me. are u ready? 🖤🐻🖤
Launching into the video discussion, this is the first video Dom has ever directed himself, and he's even called it one of the most important he's made. I think it's quickly becoming one of my favorites. There's a minute long opening before the song starts that establishes the world of the video.
It opens with some somber piano and the distant sounds of two people arguing. It pans into a dining room seen where Yungblud is sitting across from the camera, staring vacantly into it. I love his suit. It's black with a red piping that matches his hair. On either side of him are his mom and dad arguing about him. You can hear the dad say, "It's gotten to the point where I don't even want to be seen with him in public" while the mom tries to get him to stop talking like that in front of their son. He continues, "I'm embarrassed, I'm so embarrassed", and she shouts back, "Stop talking like that". Yungblud doesn't even flinch. You can tell it's a routine moment.
In the next scene, Yungblud is at a desk and his teacher is yelling at him from behind. He's telling him that he won't amount to anything because he is "absent in mind and punctuality". The teacher continues to admonish him for not making an effort with anyone or his work. Yungblud remains unresponsive. He's gotten too good at being numb to the world, a feeling I know too well.
Finally, he's in his bedroom with his girlfriend yelling at him as he sits on his bed. You can tell she's reached her breaking point too. "You're always sitting in your bed. You're just in your head too much," she cries in a way that blends anger and sadness and confusion perfectly. "Are you even listening to me?" she questions before giving up and storming out adding, "Fuck you. Fuck this" when he doesn't reply.
And in this minute montage, he captures both the complete numbness of depression and also how it's a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way. You tell yourself your stupid and alone and unloveable. You get so inside your head that everyone around you gets tired, your work slips, and you're left with the world you created inside your head. While it moves quickly in the video, it's a truly devastating deterioration when your body shuts down from the mind first.
After taking a considering glance at the pills spilled across his nightstand, Yungblud looks up to see that there's a giant teddy bear that has come to life in his bedroom. It's unclear exactly what those pills are. If they're antidepressants, actual illegal drugs, or, as common in his lyric and video imagery, some form of Ritalin. But more on the giant bear. Who suddenly has cue cards. The first says "R U Okay?" to which Yungblud shakes his head. Follow up question, "Are Those Yours?", probably referencing the pills. Yungblud nods. Final question, "Wanna Play Out?" He nods and suddenly, the fades go from black to white.
The next image is of Yungblud in the inverse to his last outfit, a white suit with red piping in a very white, bright world as the actual song starts playing. This first scene is the standard music playing/band cut shot that surface in most music videos. His band is also in all white, except for the drummer who is now the fantasy bear. Also, he's dressed like this in all the shots, but this was the first place I noticed the black leather glove on one hand and the fist of rings on the other. It's an interesting choice, and I'd love to speak with the stylist for some insight on it. I'm a sucker for a full hand of rings, though. He's at a mic performing for this section, though, and it gets referenced a bunch through the video.
Then we go back into the original world where Yungblud in black has left the house and is now strolling through the London streets with the life-sized teddy bear. There's a super awkward scene of the bear humping a streetlight, which thoroughly annoys Yungblud. His reaction is pretty hilarious and similar to mine. The bear then scales a car, which is equally embarrassing for him. These clips are peak relatability at least for me because I take life way too seriously.
When they turn the corner into the parking lot of an apartment block, they somehow manage to stumble upon a couple of stock bullies in varying colored hoodies who square off with Yungblud, who looks like he knows he's about to get beat up. I guess that goes with his depressed, resigned, pessimistic outlook thus far. Right as they square off, the bear runs away, and you can tell Yungblud's like "what are you doing?". Honestly, his face is so perfectly expressive this entire video, it really makes the entire thing. The bear shows up just as its about to get ugly with some kind of pipe or bat, which scares away the group. Probably based on how strange the whole thing is alone. There's a brilliant freeze-frame where Yungblud's tie is in one of the dude's hand, and he turns to face the camera and sees the bear coming back. It's just a cool image and one that's stuck with me. After this win, Yungblud starts to get excited again. There's some life to his character. Sure, it's a cliche confrontation moment, but I feel like this whole video deals in the idea that cliches are cliche because they're such common experiences.
They decide to celebrate with some food in a tiny cafe, and Yungblud notices the cute girl at the counter. The bear encourages him to go for it, but he's too shy, so the bear goes up to the counter to play wingman. When she drops their tea at their table, there's a slip of paper with a name and a number when Yungblud lifts his cup. Another win.
Then the bear takes him back to that dark home set, this time in the living room. The bear is cuddling close to him, and Yungblud looks the same exact way I do when anyone tries to sit close to me. Just don't. The bear has a TV remote, and it's like he's showing Yungblud their entire day in reverse to prove that it can get better from the place he started it. We watch the entire sequence in reverse and sped up. This time, when we get to his parents and his teacher and his girlfriend, he's back in touch with his emotions to react. He starts a scream that slides between each of those scenes and then all hell breaks loose. He starts throwing dishes and files pillows and nightstands until he's thoroughly fought back against all the oppressive pieces of the opening montage. He's found his voice again. He also slides all the pills off his desk with a sigh. Then he looks back to that corner of his room and there's a stuffed bear up on the shelf, and he smiles knowingly. The final scene is a call coming in from "Charly", and I think that was the girl from the shop?
Basically, Yungblud has served us an entire hero's journey. His quest is to defeat his depression. His mentor is the bear, and he even wins the girl in the end. How full circle? But, mostly, this is a story about overcoming challenging mental health situations, realizing your own self worth, and understanding that your voice does matter. The video has enough humor to keep it light and fun while also tackling serious topics. It had an accessible layer of relatability and felt genuine for a song centered around the idea of loving yourself and finding hope, which is a hard theme to pull off well in a song.
I've watched the video couple times now, and I'm still very much a fan of it. I generally like Yungblud's videos, but this one is warm and fuzzy almost like the "Weird" video.
Also, as a random side note because I don't feel like this article would be complete without it: I'm obsessed with Yungblud's eye make-up in the band scene. The red around the edges is done in such a cool way. It's one of my favorite eyeshadow looks I've seen on anyone.
If you want to see me talk about the "Weird" video, it's in my Favorite Quarantine Music videos video on YouTube. It's one of my favorite DIY videos we've gotten lately. Watch it here or...