Willie Reviews Emma Acs’s “My Beloved (Lost to Begin With)”

Willie Reviews Emma Acs’s “My Beloved (Lost to Begin With)”

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The first single from Danish singer Emma Acs’s upcoming EP tells an almost unrecognizable love story. “My Beloved (Lost to Begin With)” packs its nervous energy into a tight core. RPM’s review:

After an unprecedented stretch of prophetic dreams, I’m now extremely primed for dream syntax. Just after I woke up from a screening of the movie Her in a packed theater, I opened up Emma Acs’ new single, “My Beloved (Lost to Begin With).” Thank goodness. The convergence of the storytelling in both audio and video casts an unreal haze over what is, at its most basic, a love story. Filmed in Berlin in front of the city’s imposing concrete, the video is always walking back its last move, taking a twisting path toward any statement.

Emma Acs - My Beloved (Lost to Begin With) (Official Video)

The way this video moves is a lot like it sounds—jazz influenced, evasive, hopping back and forth between questioning and acceptance. Though it establishes a regular chord progression, the changes are so unexpected that by the time they’re normalized, the song is already over. Acs’s vocals thread together delightfully weird harmonies, establishing a normal breathing pattern over what is closer to breathing in, then out, then out, then in, then in, then in again. The bass and drum grooves roll like waves as well, making a surreal backdrop for the maze of the melody.

The imagery of the video is always saying order, but thinking disorder. A cryptic cross appears again and again, and while it might be no more than an aesthetic fixation, it takes on all of its loaded associations, then throws them off again. There’s a reason church doesn’t have wailing saxophones playing in the rafters and this track does. The most obvious contrast in the video, however, is the low-res, home video look paired with gorgeous, professional videography. The same scenes are told two ways, as if posing a question about the love story’s authenticity. The artifacted video expands to fill the frame, and then shrinks back down again. These two act in perfect balance, not wishing to set the other off, but merely to exist at the same time.

But a dream must still have a core, and I get the feeling that there is a truth here made purposely opaque. There’s some secret in the video, whether real or performed, that is shared within the world of the video but not to its viewers. What the viewer gets is a secondhand look at a stream of images that works on the subconscious in a way that’s more than satisfying.

Score: Under the carnival, the paving stones.

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