Gracie, “Nothing”

Niccolo Porcello

For a video that makes its mark dealing in haunting images, the opening to Gracie’s “Nothing” is remarkably peaceful. There is a woman (presumably Gracie Jackson herself) sitting at the window brushing her hair perfectly framed by a golden box ensconced in a field of navy blue. These minor descriptions are only so helpful; the images are wildly stereoscopic and ornate. At some points the image is muddy and grainy, at others it is stark and colorized (and at others, neither), but there is a consistent and gorgeously employed use of visual effects throughout. As a visual rhetoric, the sort of grainy “spook-wave” collage-of-video style is hard to pull off without seeming like an ode to the True Blood opening credits, and requires the correct set of sounds to go along with it; creator/director Anastasia Cazabon truly outdid herself.

“Nothing” is a deceptively slow-tempo song that sends a thumping drum line to compete with the heavy guitar notes pushed out by Jackson. Her low register lends the a similar haunting quality to the track, never straying far from its initial growl-y weight in the early moments. Considering the video, “Nothing” functions as somewhat of an accompaniment to the video, and not vice versa. As a single media object the combination is astonishing. At many points the video verges into strange psychedelia and delivers images that are at once obsessively contrived and composed enough to appear as if they were born of hallucination. There are skulls and candle wax, floating chairs and a ouija board and somehow it still isn’t overdone—this is a huge testament to both “Nothing” and the video itself.

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