Poets of the Fall knows how to keep us on our toes, and so with the release of The Sweet Escape single and video, they decided it would be cool to premiere it on YouTube at 8:00 am with a countdown precisely when most of us are already at work or in a different time zone. This did not matter, however, because people were at the rendez-vous and so was I… the chat was wild with anticipation. I set my Skype to “Do not disturb” at work and held my breath for the time of a sweet video.
Of all the songs from the Ultraviolet album, The Sweet Escape is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing to me. There are not many songs in the band’s repertoire that actually compare to this song, and believe you me, I love their repertoire more than a lot. From the start, I found it emotionally charged and filled with an undefinable longing. As always, Marko Saaresto does not disappoint and he delivers an extraordinary performance.
The single version brings the extra that I have been wishing for… the extra that they’ve played at concerts, especially when Jaska Mäkinen plays those haunting guitar riffs I love so much. It made me pay even more attention to the orchestration which is perfect. The bass lines by Jani Snellman are discreet but powerful because they underline the sense of loneliness and loss I feel through the lyrics; the slow rhythm skilfully brought on by Jari Salminen, and his drums crescendo that comes as reinforcement to the bass and keyboards are just brilliant… Finally, the keyboard by Markus Kaarlonen are one of the best he’s written. They emphasize everything I have been saying. I don’t know how to describe it other than by saying listen… truly listen with every fiber of your being.
Beautiful photography as always by Miika Hakala! I did not see Helsinki that way when I was there… but I don’t wander in the streets at night singing my heart out either. Only Marko can do that! The colours are soft and welcoming, like a cover that hides everything, even feelings… until passers-by now and then notice them.
A few minutes into the video, I started feeling the longing I talked about earlier… and it grew for every second that passed. Many theories have already popped up here and there, but I tried not to read them all not to be too much influenced… but to answer the few I read I will only say this: Marko is a great actor because it is not easy to show longing on one’s face… but he nailed it. This kind of storytelling is my cup of tea! A storytelling driven by the abstract, what can not be seen unless you are tuned to it.
I thought for a moment that Marko was a ghost, looking for the one he will never get to meet and then never be able to give the intended present to… he looks at his invisible watch. No watch on his wrist! (Thanks Susan, I saw it now). By the way, time does not exist for ghosts, unless you don’t know you are one, or? It is said that time does not exist, period, but that is another debate.
But then, if Marko is a ghost, why does Jani see him? Jari? and Olli even? Captain and Jaska don’t look at him though… and through all this, as I said, Marko does not make eye contact, why? Is he lost in his longing? So lost that he does not even see others, and wanders within his loneliness and his somewhat neverending search for his “fierce friend“. One more thing that could undo the ghost theory is that twice he is on the phone. The first time, he is not talking, just listening to some message maybe… the second time, it looks like he is talking. So, the ghost theory is down the drain so to speak. For whom is this present he is holding in his hands? Sometimes he is holding his phone and sometimes the present…
It sounds sad, doesn’t it? But then, if you look closely, you’ll see the spark in Marko‘s eyes and the faint smile lighting up his face for a split second… I see hope and fondness, maybe love, even.
Absolutely stunning in its simplicity, I love it.
How will Partir avec Moi conclude this longing? Will I get answers to my questions or will I have more questions? I guess we’ll know soon enough… Rendez-vous in a week, on Friday, May 17th.