Known for their animated lyric videos, as well as their selection of new music, Proximity has ventured into a much larger project than they've ever done before. With the release of Avicii's posthumous album, Tim, the YouTube channel premiered their own 40-minute lyric video to bring the effort to life.
To create this cinematic journey, Proximity enlisted their most frequent collaborator, The Pyramid Watch. The French creative agency keeps a consistent animation style throughout most of the YouTube channel's lyric videos and undoubtedly continued it in the 12 lyric videos they created for Tim. While each video is unique on its own, the consistent graphics and animation style really speak to the lyrical content of the songs.
Simplistic yet mesmerizing, most of the visuals incorporate shapes like diamonds, triangles and circles that draw us to the lyrics. Some float around in zero gravity, while others are stuck in an infinite loop heading towards you.
However, one of the most stunning and pleasing lyric videos involving shapes is for the Swedish DJ's collaboration with rock and electronic pop band, A R I Z O N A, "Hold The Line." The Pyramid Watch uses hollow 3D cubes and boxes stuck in an infinite loop during the verses and move in a somewhat synchronized pattern during the pre-chorus. This constant movement and rearranging gives visual form to the lyrics' message of not giving up.
In order to convey the positive feelings from some of the more upbeat songs on the album, the creative agency uses color, texture and a cartoonish style of animation. For example, the lyric video for "Heaven" uses all three of these visual ideas to add to the warm, carefree innocence exuded bt the song. The lyrics' gold color gives off the same warmth from Coldplay frontman Chris Martin's vocals, the floating particles and our view through the clouds instills this freeing and carefree feeling, and a film grain overlay contains that fun and playful innocence.
However, the animation with the biggest visual impact and conveys these blissful emotions all at the same time is the chorus' ever changing textured kaleidoscope patterns. Similar to exploding with bursts of joy, each pop up and expand in time with the beat. When it flashes its light tan color, it's a beacon in the background's sea of black.
Talking about some of the best visuals, a recurring electric/lightning bolts special effects is also at the top of the list along with other elemental graphics like 3D smoke and water. In the lyric video for "Ain't A Thing" all of these elemental graphics come into play.
The verses transport us to a thunderstorm in the middle of the ocean and, as if caught up in the storm, we ebb with the raging waves sinking a little and then breaking the surface again. It plays with the idea of almost drowning in these not so pleasant situations that the lyrics' speaker is supposedly fed up of.
When the chorus comes around, bolts of white lightning fill the screen and its symmetrical movement fades in and out. Although, there isn't much to the lyrics in the chorus to visualize, these bolts go to signify the electrifying melody instead.
Taking it even further, The Pyramid Watch occasionally mixes in 3D with 2D elements to create striking visuals that have an abstract connection to the lyrics.
For its verses, "Heart Upon My Sleeve" puts us in a 3D desolate town with broken buildings to allude to the loneliness and hurt that drip from Imagine Dragons lead singer, Dan Reynolds' vocals.
That feeling only intensifies with the electrifying graphics that pulsate with the dark strings and beat of the chorus. However, the power that radiates from the song reaches its limit with the imagery of a person running through crumbling rocks. It amazingly encapsulates the relatable feeling of desperation that the lyrics cry out.
At the complete end of this wild rollercoaster ride of a cinematic journey, Proximity leaves us with a message of thanks to Avicii, a sentiment that we'll all share time and again when we listen to his music:
You are the reason I fell in love with dance music. You are the one who kept pushing yourself because you were always asking yourself what’s next. You created songs that were ahead of its time and was criticized for it until people finally understood how beautiful it truly was. Listening back to all your songs: the lyrics and the meaning behind each one. I couldn’t believe how relatable they were to your life and the message you were trying to share. I cannot believe it has already been a year. Thank you for everything you have done for dance music and myself. I will never forget you. #RIPAvicii
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