Owen Pallett, “The Sky Behind the Flag”

Nina Mashurova

On “The Sky Behind the Flag”, Owen Pallett sings about a failed hetero relationship he had in his twenties, full of glorified drinking and meaningful car rides (as relationships in your twenties are wont to be). According to Pallett, the song is partially about masculinity and his desire to renounce control, though uneasy pacing and ominous siren sounds throughout the song communicate that, although that might be the end goal, the idea of losing control giving the narrator more than a little anxiety—the song captures less the zen state of relinquishing desire and more the heart-pounding moment before you let go of the wheel. The new video for the song keeps up the nervous energy with threadbare sketches of flashbacks and a white flag (signifying surrender) against a flickering sky.

“The Sky Behind the Flag” appears on Pallett’s 2014 album In Conflict. You can watch the video above, and check out candid photos of Pallett on his recent multi-continental tour with Foxes in Fiction here.

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