This is a special day, April 1st 2022, no joke, no fool’s day, but finally the time to unveil Requiem for my Harlequin by Poets of the Fall. The very first single from the so much awaited upcoming album Ghostlight to be released on April 29th. Such a special day, I took a day off… yes, just for this 😅. I wanted to celebrate properly, without rushing, without checking the clock every second for fear I’d be late for a meeting… and how right was I to do that 🥰!
There were four things today… 🥳
- ✅ Requiem for my Harlequin released on all official streaming platforms, including Tidal.
- ✅ Requiem for my Harlequin video premiere on YouTube at 1pm Finnish time: only a few hours away, that have now passed a long while ago.
- ✅ Requiem for my Harlequin video premiere on YouTube chat with the band, the director Miika Hakala and Tiia Öhman.
- ✅ Requiem for my Harlequin, my fav movie director Miika Hakala is back behind the camera for another Poets of the Fall video… I knew somehow he would not stay away.
In the making since 2019
I am wondering what Marko meant during the chat at the premiere of Requiem for my Harlequin. Was it the song, the video or both in the making since 2019? Not that it matters much, the result is simply fantastic. The hard work has obviously paid off a thousand folds if you ask me 😎. This means that as Ultraviolet finished to unfold on the roads of Europe in 2019, the Ghostlight from the band musical steps was already taking roots. Talk about a lasting train of thoughts indeed! Yeesh, my head hurts 🤣.
Requiem to my Harlequin on Tidal
I woke up stoked about the perspective of discovering a new Poets of the Fall video, directed by none other than Miika Hakala at that. 6 am, coffee on my desk and my three screens set up, I started writing this post. It took me about half and hour to realise that the song was already on streaming platforms. I did not think, I opened TIDAL, put on my headphones and the song (Radio edit & the long version) have been playing until the video premiere.
The wait has been excruciating, I can tell you. I shed a few tears out of sheer joy for what I listened to. The emotion is real to me, Poets of the Fall’s music is my fix and I was in desperate need of this one. I apologize for the comparison, but I have said it before, their music is addictive and I am not ashamed to admit my affliction… the only one I shall never be cured from 🙃.
The strings caught me by surprise and shivers went through my entire body before I knew what hit me. The song has so many layers it is difficult to know what to pay attention to. The intro is very dramatic in its composition, cinematic which could lead you to believe this is a movie soundtrack. Then the rhythm kicked in and my face got frozen into the biggest of smiles, me… dancing (figuratively speaking, remember the time 😅) and in awe of what I was listening to. I felt everything, still do as I am still listening. At some point, I just closed my eyes and that is when the tears I talked about earlier dared showing up. This song is giving me so much joy and hope… and strength.
Poets of the Fall, how do you manage to do that, without fail every single time? I am seriously asking 💖. Another question: who’s playing the strings, is it really Marko? (see Captain answer to the left 😊)
I did not yet talk about Marko’s voice, or rather his singing. I have not taken notice of our Maestro’s voice the same way I am used to at least not until the bridge. The music and the lyrics are both telling the story in unison. There is this sense of unity that I have never heard before with Poets of the Fall, as if they’ve all reach the same stage in life. I don’t know, it makes sense in my head… 😅 The unity has always been there, but not like this.
Don’t get me wrong, the singing is faultless as always, but I think that for the purpose of the song and the story, the emotions might have been held back just a little until the peaks of the story. Marko’s falsetto is placed with the precision of a surgeon within the song and I still find that my breathing follows his singing.
The orchestration is just superb!
I cannot wait to listen to the full album, Ghostlight, which you can pre-order in the band’s shop: Backstage Rock Shop.
“Letting go of beliefs and habits that hold you back”
The song is about coming to terms with who you truly are. Letting go of beliefs and habits that hold you back. That’s our perspective on it. But we’ll let you decide what it means to you. 😉 -Marko
The great thing with Poets of the Fall lyrics is that from the intended meaning of the artists, the many variations that may derive from it are endless. The very first quote that literally left be breathless was:
So, how does it feel now?
Tell me, can you let it go?
The wrong you can’t undo
I can’t explain it, but it just did punch the air out of me and I loved it. Musicianship, wordsmith… ARTISTS with a heart big like that. This is magic, period!
We all go through challenges and hardships in life, and although we have different experiences they remain similar in many ways. Ultimately, it comes to who we are as individuals… not who we ought to be according to society, not who we want to be like… We should not say who we look like but who we are (loose translation of a verse in a French song).
This is what the meaning behind Requiem for my Harlequin makes me think of, only, Poets of the Fall dig so much deeper than that, therefore rendering the song completely timeless. Sometimes, it may even trigger a jolt in your heart, pushing you to go get a look in the mirror, at your life, almost wondering if you have reached this point yet. The one where masks are finally superfluous, no more hiding, leastways from yourselves.
You have nothing to prove. What’s done is done, so deal and let go! In other words be free, but you have to decide it. No lessons-giving here, still working on it myself… we all go on the same journey, don’t we?!
It stands to reason that more could be said on the subject, but I know that you are all waiting for the video bit… 😂 So, let’s get to it shall we!
Video premiere chat
As usual, Poets of the Fall connects with us fans on the YouTube chat about 1/2 hour before the premiere. This makes the event even sweeter and probably nerve racking for the band. I mean which artist doesn’t get nervous when setting their art free into the world after so much work?
Requiem for my Harlequin video premiere
Drama, theatrical, carnivalesque… three words that first came to mind when I first watched the video. Just like Carnival of Rust video, there are many subtle references to other songs, but I have not worked them all out except for the obvious ones Daze and False Kings, I am convinced there are more… it would not surprise me.
Jester in Daze became rather dishevelled in Requiem for my Harlequin, which can be interpreted as the toll of hiding behind a mask for so long. Kicking the habit is no small feat and it takes strength to walk away. A discussion for another post though. The transformation is impressive, but I’ll admit that the last picture down to the right is my favourite. I love the symbolism of the journey, through the transformation of all the characters that Marko has played through the years.
The great pretender crashing down with style
There are also some nice details like the dices spelling “Forever Lost” and a little later in the video a closer shot of it. When you think that this is done, at the end you get the anagram “Lovers Forte”… Thank you to Charlie on Poets of the Fall Nation, for you beady eyes 😉 I understand the use of the anagram as: never give up, there is always hope ’round the corner and we all sure could need an extra shot of it these days.
Another detail which I love is delivered by the beautiful Tarot reader, who is played by Tiia Öhman. Anyone care to read the meaning behind the association of The Fool, Death and Le Bateleur (or Sleight of hand artist, who is a practitioner of magic says Google). We could of course guess as the story unfolds, but it would be fun to have the meaning behind the visual. We could go on and on, but what is the point really. The video is a masterpiece! The story-telling is everything I love about videos in general and Miika Hakala together with Marko Saaresto, as I said on social media: a match made in heaven, as story-tellers go.
Finally, I need to talk about the costumes and the make-up which are fabulous. I have been praising Tiia, but seriously she wears that Tarot reader outfit to perfection and the make-up is really beautiful. This contributed in giving her character a lot of intensity. The decors are kind of Valmont like period at times, what between the candles, the red velvety and golden wallpapers… love it! The attention to details in this video is nothing I have ever seen in other videos from the band… yet, we all know how great their videos are. So that is saying something. The dancers, the clowns, the contortionist and all of you involved who made this video such a beautiful piece of art, without forgetting Elvis the cat, who is a true star – Thank you!
Exceeds expectations is an understatement 💖🎶
Thank you for the magic Poets of the Fall and Miika Hakala!
Remember to go buy your tickets for the show: Ghostlight Tour.