Emilie Kahn: Three review

Emilie Kahn’s latest video is much more than a perfunctory promo. It’s a piece of art in its own right, deftly mirroring and enhancing changes in musical tone over the six-minute song. Director Baz explained “I really wanted to do something different and try to embrace each universe of the song fully.”

The initial direct eye contact segment, bathed in muted tones, shatters as the music shifts. A hallucinatory heavenscape crashes through.

As the drums kick in and modern pop beats chase out harp-fuelled indie-folk, Kahn runs and dances through a series of rooms that could be either a ballet studio or an institution. Perhaps both places symbolise the protagonist’s state of mind.

Emilie Kahn lying on the floor

The lights increasingly threaten to blind, amplified by overexposed footage, until the music slows, the vocal volume rises and the harp returns for a chilled out middle eight. The scene switches to a dark venue bathed in neon flashes, a place that had been foreshadowed in the frenetic movements earlier.

Soon it’s back to the heavenly place, but this time it’s much darker. We leave Kahn playing the harp in order to investigate the mystical yet organic landscape. All too soon, the exploration is over because the screen cuts to black and the music stops. That’s jarringly thought-provoking after a six-minute audio-visual treat.

“Three is a song about desire and the need for absolute clarity”

This plays out in lyrics like “I only drew a straight line, what did I get?/A triangle, so tiresome, not asking for it.” No need to be in any doubt about what ‘it’ is; the song is explicit about that: “I’ve been waiting for you to take it down south/I’ve been craving sour taste of your mouth/But I’m tired of playing the guessing game.” Longing to find out more? Check out the video in all its splendour below!

Kahn’s album, Outro, is out now on Secret City Records

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