By Courtney E. Smith
Lykke Li has always been an artist’s artist, establishing herself as more than a mere musician but an actual slave to some muse who only allows her to be creatively fueled at its whim. She has a reputation for being temperamental and difficult, but always those things in slavish devotion to best actualizing her art.
In her latest music video for “Gunshot,” Li finally lets her artistic side take over the visuals she creates. For the first time she is giving us a piece of performance art not based in any realistic depiction of the song or her actual persona.
In “Gunshot” she is, for lack of a better term, a mime.
Directors Fleur and Manu, a Parisian duo who have also worked with M83 and Sébastian Tellier, find Li in the middle of an urban wasteland. In a half-destroyed parking lot filled with people sporting realistic apocalypse wear, Li is a person trapped in a state of being somewhere between mindless idiot and zombie. She reacts to the motions of people around her, going where she is pushed and falling down when she is shot by a gun made of a child’s hand. She is an empty shell, an unwanted scavenger with no place among the placeless.
It’s a harrowing visual allegory for how heartbreak feels.
Li’s latest album, I Never Learn, is out now.