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Poets of the Fall – Jealous Gods 2020

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Jealous Gods… Episode 9 of the Poets of the Fall Alexander Theatre Sessions.

Dear Markus, Dear Marko,

I wanted to write this whole post in a letter-type style, but it turned out to be a bit too impractical. As it is your last session, just the two of you on stage, I thought I’d make this post a bit more special… even if it turns out to be weirder than more special :D.

I missed the premiere, again. This time, I was on a short vacation in my home country: France. I checked the video while preparing my dad’s birthday party, so I did not really pay attention the way I am used to. I really listened when I was back in Sweden.

Jealous Gods has always been a very special song to me. For the backstory, the Jealous Gods Tour had just ended when I discovered Poets of the Fall. I remember where I used to live, and the hoops life was putting me through. I remember the impact of the verse below when I first grasped its meaning:

There’s a joy for every hurt

I cannot tell you how much these words dug their way into my heart… and still do today.

As you may have noticed, I often have an overzealous imagination when it comes to your lyrics ย ;). My mind works in mysterious ways and sometimes I might see/understand things that aren’t there… except that they are, in my head at least… so what’s real understanding? I might come to that as the first three verses teased my curiosity. This brings me to the video editing and what I saw in it.

I loved the juxtaposition of images and their flying out at the beginning (might not be the proper terms though). It felt like a curtain unveiling the heavens. It was a nice and subtle touch that matched with what was coming.

It is difficult to isolate what touches me the most in Jealous Gods, because every word, every note, every silence and every breath have their place like in a cipher.

Alright, please do tend to your flaws as I’m sure we’ll all do the same, thus nurturing our own flawed perfection.

Thank you for yet another stunning treat!


Jealous Gods, listening vs watching

Ever since the Alexander Theatre Session started, I’ve had this craving to watch the video premieres on YouTube. This is, however, the second time I cannot attend the premiere and something shifted inside.

So, I started by just listening to Jealous Gods. One evening, in the dark, I got myself comfortable in the midst of all my cushions and pillows, put on my headphones, cranked up the volume,… and I just listened. No thinking involved, just pure emotion going through me, I surfed on the gentle waves… and pressed repeat, over and over.ย  This is powerful stuff my friends!

For the first time – in a long time – time stopped. I was wrapped, as in a blanket, in Marko’s voice and his words resonating on every inch of my skin. Markus’s piano made sure the blanket couldn’t untighten. I wept. Remember what Gandalf said: “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”

The “Poets of the Fall Effect” at work is like ripples on a pond suddenly turning into a whirlwind of notes. It then grabs and drags you along wherever it may go. At that stage, the will to resist it is non-existent. It really is magical.

Maestro Markus on Jealous Gods

I’ll try and not repeat what I wrote for Angel or Lift about our Captain‘s playing. I love it when, just before the music starts, he sits in front of the piano, shuts his eyes and takes a deep breath. A ritual I remember oh too well when I did those piano contests as a kid… omg ย ๐Ÿ˜†

Markus‘s piano is tender on Jealous Gods, and the emphasis with the fortes are gently powerful until the song reaches its peak. By then, it is full steam ahead with a smiling Captain: rare catch on video, delightful ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you Tiia!

I am going to miss that: just Markus & Marko… one piano, one voice.

Markus "Captain" Kaarlonen, Jealous Gods

Watching M & M play Jealous Gods

Despite what I said earlier, I cannot ignore a video by Poets of the Fall. It is just incompatible with who I am. After I listened a couple of 100 times and caught my breath at last, I started watching. As I did, something hit me: they make it look so easy!

But, it is the first time I actually wonder what is going through Marko‘s head while he is singing Jealous Gods. Very strange! Yet again, he could do that on purpose. As I am watching while writing to you, I realise that this song gets to me every single time. Chills, weepy eyes and almost breathless is how I would describe it.

Arcs of soaring rainbows
Strength of mother earth […]

With every single word

We won’t go down as frauds
Like jealous gods

It is almost like I am discovering a new layer behind the words, or rediscovering its meaning each time I listen to it. How weird is that?

Jealous Gods short theory on first 3 verses

If you pay attention to Jealous Gods‘ lyrics, they are pretty serious, deep and full of hope if you ask me. What would be my theory on the first 3 verses I mentioned in the introduction letter?

Can you feel the void between us

Who is us? Humans vs Gods…

What is the void? Space between Heaven and Hell, or Heaven and Earth. Or is it more spiritual than that? The void could stand for the space between us, humans, and them / him / her. Jealous Gods: how many Gods are we talking about? The ones from mythology, the ones from Asgard, the ones I did not mention, or just one but revered to by many under so many names… or again, is “Gods” one word to define everything around us that is unexplainable. So take your pick and fill in the blanks ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

Void… except the fact that “There is no life into the void”… therefore, it should be pitch black:

Nothing there but light, yet it seems like the weight of the world

and where there’s light there is life… usually.

Keeping us here in the dark

The weight of the world… could be society, wars, anything preventing us to move forward in harmony. What’s the dark then? Figuratively speaking it could be ignorance or rather the not-knowing. Everything happening around us, all the noise and non-sense we make prevents us from knowing if He is.

So, my weird thinking brings me to: Does God exist? Is there a God? Do we really need to know?

I could go on and on, but not the point of this post. My advice, listen attentively and especially between the lines… because whether it is meant that way or not, Marko has a way with words indeed!

Jealous Gods video & its in-betweens

When Marko sings – as if he knows something we don’t – he looks a bit grave at times, but I noticed his smiles too… did you?

Then comes the piano… music without voice… and the in-between videos. Marko being goofy Marko; I think Captain is a bit of that too, which I love, but now the voice started again. The talks too are fun to watch like a silent movie, not Charlie Chaplin, but the idea’s there ๐Ÿ˜‰

What are they talking about with so much passion? do I really have to ask…

3:52… Serious, serious Marko… 3:56… Marko smiles and my heart melts

Why did they make Jealous Gods video like that I wonder? (See Captain’s answer below) The in-between goofiness doesn’t exactly match the lyrics, except maybe with:

We’re perfect with our flaws
Like Jealous Gods

There is also the quirky psychedelic video montage, which baffles me a little, but I was never for that kind of visual. It is the only reason I am so glad that I listened to Jealous Gods first, because in the end that visual became part of a whole and I was taking in everything.

Everything happens for a reason!

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