French singer/songwriter Charlotte Gainsbourg has been out of the music spotlight for quite some time. Her last project, the B-sides/live compilation Stage Whisper, came out in 2011, and her last studio album, IRM, dropped all the way back in 2009. Now ready to return, she ensures that no one will want to miss her next move. A couple of weeks ago, she announced that her next album, entitled Rest, will arrive in November bearing contributions from the high-profile likes of Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de-Homem-Christo, Paul McCartney, Owen Pallett, and Connan Mockasin. Today, she’s released a video for album track “Deadly Valentine” that features Blood Orange mastermind Dev Hynes.
In the six-minute clip, we follow a boy and a girl from childhood to adolescence to adulthood to old age— a love story in four acts. Gainsbourg and Hynes play the adult versions of the two characters, and all of the other actors filling out the two lead roles easily pass for younger or older versions of the two musicians. The couple runs, dances, and cuddles while clad in all white, which based on their carefree joy, seems to represent purity or innocence. There doesn’t seem to be much subtext or metaphor here, it’s just a beautiful representation of a lifelong romance.
It’s unclear if Hynes also contributed to the song, which was, like the rest of Rest, produced by SebastiAn (AKA the guy from Frank Ocean’s “Facebook Story”), or is just an actor in the video. It would make sense if he did, as “Deadly Valentine” is in-line with the ‘80s sonic palette that much of his Blood Orange work draws from, but then again, it could just be the work of the equally ‘80s-reverent SebastiAn. Gainsbourg sounds great on the track, never letting her voice rise above a soft coo, keeping things intimate while allowing the synth string-heavy music crescendo around her.