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WE PIECE TOGETHER SOME CLUES IN JONNY WEST’S “HOMICIDE”

May 28, 2021

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Inching ever closer to a swell, the snare drum from “Homicide” journeys from a lo-fi haze into a vivid steady march, much like a heart slowly being brought back from the brink by expert hands full of passion and expertise. The hands in this analogy would be Jonny West‘s voice, a suave crooning charged with longing and emotivity, alternating between bittersweet regret and praise for the bonds of friendship that can help one get through a rough sentimental spot.

It’s a curious play between sound, imagery, and lyrical themes that sets this music video ablaze in its emotional fuel. The steady snare tells one story that the voice seemingly contradicts at first and then circles back into affirming. “Homicide” starts with a plea for a promise, Jonny slouched back against a Joshua tree out in the boonies. As he looks out into the horizon just over the camera’s shoulder, his head begins to bleed with confusion evident in his face.

There’s a very powerful theme of death and rebirth in the song that the video echoes perfectly, and “Homicide” could easily be interpreted as “Sacrifice.” Burying the past is not enough for Jonny, no, he must also let it nourish the future for the sake of new beginnings and for the sake of making something beautiful out of the broken mess of a relationship.

West willingly descends to his freshly-dug desert grave in the twilight hours, not the best time to dispose of a corpse with your friends, but it is a strong visual representation of the in-between period of putting old feelings to rest so that new ones can be reborn in time.

“Homicide” is mystifying and moving, and Jonny’s voice is polished beyond shine.

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