The message behind this musically lush new track from Love Letters From Space is not a new one but it does seem to have taken on added poignancy in recent years. The idea of the connectivity of (anti)social media as being some sort of technological saviour was long been known to be a myth, ironically, it is that connectivity coupled with the anonymity of the users, which is creating more problems than it solves. Add to this the recent isolations caused by the pandemic and the lockdowns that it ushered in, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues are on the increase.
It’s a dark subject to deal with in a song but a necessary one, and Love Letters From Space does so with sensitivity and empathy. Firstly the song itself is swathed in sumptuous vocals and deft, restrained musical choices but it is the accessibility of the lyrics which make things work. And the video, rather than tackle the subject using harsh, visual realities takes a more delicate approach.
The video is made up of stop-motion animations in the style of a children’s TV show and tells of a race of guardian angels from space looking at the situation from the outside, and, without the white noise of our culture, trying to make sense of young people deciding that they don’t want to live in this world any more. We see such things as a complex cultural problem, a side effect of the massive strides that society and technology are taking. Our visitors from space see things for what they really are. The loss of life because people, especially young people, are not getting the support, guidance and love that they need.
There is something in the tone of the tale that reminds me of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry classic story of The Little Prince, a flight of fantasy designed to make us look at ourselves from the outside. And musically too, Note in Her Hand is a great song. One which starts in some very intimate and gentle, chamber-pop territory, using swathes of vocals and sonic washes to set the scene before kicking things up a gear and evolving into a real pop-rock groover.
It is also one of those rare cases where the video actually adds something to the message. Generally, videos are an excuse for bands to show off and show their faces. Note in Her Hand uses its time to add power and poignancy to the lyrics of the song. It intersperses its tragic tale of suicide with images of loss and togetherness, of famous faces who have taken their own lives, of the world at large and the internet, of love, loss and intimcy. When strung together they tell their own parallel stories.
Its message is simple, look out for and look after one another. But do we really need an alien race looking down from above to remind us of that? It seems we do.