Jonathan Bree – Fuck It

Sleepwalking from Jonathan Bree, was one of our favorite albums of 2018. It was an album that reenforced the artist’s unique approach to delivering content and form. It’s an album that has remained in heavy rotation since release. If it passed you by, don’t worry – it’s a classic, enduring sequence of tracks. Go check it out.

At the beginning of the new year Bree shared a video for the album’s final track. ‘Fuck It’, a baroque excursion of synth bass, and sweeping strings, is fleshed out with the artist’s trademark aesthetic.

The track, which leant gravity as the concluding song of the album, has the sardonic/ironic tone of a person resigned to never understanding ‘all of this’. The world with it’s diluted values, individuals only capable of self-interested, and interpersonal relationships dissolved by online representations of themselves, all signal the devolution of things for Bree’s narrator.

There are cleverer words, and more subtle angles to be had in the track; the subtle sound of apes can be heard as a description of sophisticated monkeys is made. Gratitude for contraception, and a possible end to regeneration, is issued. However, shrugging off the world with “Fuck it, / Fuck her / Fuck him” nails the colors better to the mast of a sinking ship. The way Bree delivers this refrain is something else.

The video, unsurprisingly, is also a thing of beauty.  The fifth in a sequence of visuals from Sleepwalking, Bree is once again in the director’s chair.  There’s the low-key element of Bree’s vision; things are delivered without spoon-feeding references to the viewer – and the emotional intelligence that’s expected of the audience is reassuring. Bree talks down to nobody. Instead, this thing is saturated with subtle gestures, camera chops that call back to the classics, with dance moves that make a mockery of any charge of self-seriousness.

The counterbalances that Bree plays with maintain his authenticity. He leans toward the dark, and displays the light. In the light he draws on the darkness. Nothing goes unedited, and yet his ease of expression preserves spontaneity of creation. Here and there a dancer makes a misstep, but the human, the spirit of it – that’s the point of the exercise.

In the ‘fucking off’ of something, the value of that thing, the scale of it all, is measured. It’s wonderful. Bree builds on a sad and beautiful world, and continues, somehow to make it better.


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