“Blackout” by Mothica: Why this music video is a must-see
We all have inner demons, and the music video for Mothica’s “Blackout” explores this universal truth. The video sees the singer drown her sorrows with booze and drugs, but one drug proves more dangerous than the rest. A suspect package labeled “Beelzebub’s Lonely No More” unleashes a literal demon, who proceeds to pester & pursue Mothica until she gives into her addiction.
The video for “Blackout” is directed by Ian Rowe, and does a remarkable job of blending pop sensibilities with darker, more damaging truth. The character Mothica is playing is consumed by her alcohol addiction, and the blue demon who tails her constantly urges her to take a swig. This is illustrated through a series of colorful, cleverly staged scenes.
The unveiling of the demon is especially clever, as it is depicted offscreen. We are forced to watch the unholy creature materialize from a shadow on the wall, and the effects are such that the scene is undeniably creepy.
The “Blackout” video has a dualistic color scheme of blue and red. The blue is present in the skin tone of the demon and the color of Mothica’s flask, making their connection all the more overt. The red is reserved for Mothica’s clothing and for random items around her house. The sinister red lighting outside of her window and the red lamp on her table help drive home the feeling that danger is constantly lurking in the shadows.
Rowe makes sure to provide context for these color choices, but they also work from a purely visual standpoint. The shot of Mothica and the demon embracing each other in the middle of the room is made all the more striking by the enveloping blue lighting. A single red lamp permeates the shot, once again suggesting through visuals the tension that Mothica is struggling with.
The description for the video reads, “Overwhelmed by loneliness, Mothica turns to an addictive quick fix to ease the pain – and accidentally unleashes her inner demon.” The reference to “loneliness” is crucial to appreciating the video, because Mothica’s internal demons are what is driving her dance with the literal demon.
Mothica singing into the bathroom mirror is another crucial shot from “Blackout”. It helps drive home the notion that addictions & struggles are often without our control, and will not be vanquished until we initiate change. Mothica glaring at herself while singing the song’s lyrics is perhaps the most impactful image from a music video that also has a giant blue demon. It’s a testament to the universality of the message.
Ian Rowe was raised in Wyoming but the cowboy life didn’t suit him. He decided to trade his ten gallon hat for a director’s viewfinder and he now lives in San Francisco, California. He specializes in directing music videos, commercials, and films.