On December 20, 2017, Swedish producer Avicii premiered the music video for his song “You Be Love,” featuring the vocals of up-and-coming rock singer Billy Raffoul (check out Soundigest’s exclusive interview with Raffoul here). From the AVĪCI EP released in August 2017, “You Be Love” now has its own accompanying three-and-a-half minute video, directed by TNT and created entirely with 3D graphics and VFX. The tale of two lovers is told through startlingly lifelike statues, which may be a nod to the first two lines of the song, “You can be the potter//I’ll be the clay.”
The strums of an acoustic guitar leads listeners into the first verse, where we see two female statues longingly reaching out to one another, surrounded by a mob of other statues threatening to tear them apart. Although we never witness any of them in motion, their positions shift with every scene, giving us the chance to piece together the story ourselves while hinting that the characters are more active than their stony appearance suggests. As synths signal the arrival of the chorus and the beat steadily increases in pace, the crowding of the statues becomes almost claustrophobic.
Exhibiting exaggerated expressions ranging from desperation to fury, as well as horns and masks on some of the background characters, the artistry recalls the theatrical and fantastical nature of Greek mythology. In particular, the close-ups of the menacing facial features and claw-like hands add to the feeling of imminent danger that the protagonists face. The marble sculptures possess a silky quality that retains the details of skin and fabric, much like the masterpieces carved by Baroque artist Bernini. Additionally, the stage lighting against an endless black background contributes to the dramatic scene by casting harsh shadows and highlights on the figures.
Near the end of the bridge, the lighting abruptly changes to a bright red. The central couple finally embrace one another in a kiss, their clothing and the statues around them fracturing into pieces and falling away in fragments. Especially in this section, the clever use of camera zooms and pans produces a parallax effect, creating visual interest via implied movement. In the last moments of the “You Be Love” music video, the lovers remain the only two statues left unbroken, holding each other above the wreckage as the image fades to black.