Narrative theory Breezeblocks-Alt J
Analysis of narrative structure of the Alt J music video Breezeblocks
Published on: Mar 5, 2016
Transcripts - Narrative theory Breezeblocks-Alt J
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Alt J Breezeblocks
About the band
∆ which is pronounced as alt-J, are an English indie
rock band who formed in 2007 in Leeds The band
consists of Gwil Sainsbury (guitar/bass), Joe
Newman (guitar/lead vocals), Gus Unger-Hamilton
(keyboards/vocals) and Thom Green (drums).
"Breezeblocks" is a song by British indie rock band
alt-J from their first album “An Awesome Wave” which
was released in 2012. The song was released on 18
May 2012 and is the second single on the album.
The song was written by Joe Newman, Gus Unger-
Hamilton, Gwilym Sainsbury, Thom Green, Murad
Merali and was produced by Charlie Andrew.
The video for Breezeblocks shows a violent fight in a gloomy flat
between a male and a female character the narrative is in reverse,
and starts with the death of the female character at the hands of
the male character, who bludgeons her with a breeze block, which
is a reference to the single's title. As the fight, which is show
backwards, continues it is exposed that the female character is the
antagonist in the fight, having taken the male character by surprise
by tying up and hiding a second female character, implied to be his
wife, so that he would be preoccupied with rescuing her while she
crept up on him with a knife.
Breezeblocks is an open narrative due to the fact it is up to the
audience to decide whether the characters are lovers and also to
create their own meaning from the lyrics and the narrative.
Breezeblocks is a narrative music video and uses binary
opposition between the lyrics and the action depicted in the video.
It uses the binary opposition of the love in the lyrics, such as
“Please don’t go, I love you so, I love you do, please don’t go”
against that of the aggressiveness and the fighting that is shown
between the 2 characters.
As Claude Levis Strauss states “constant creation of conflict/binary
opposition drives narrative.” The narrative of breezeblocks is
driven through the love/hate binary opposition.
The lyrics, however do, link to the narrative when you consider that
“please don’t go” is shown in the fact that she cannot leave if she is
dead. Which is a morbid consideration but could show some love left
between them (if we consider the representation of them as lovers)
and this killing of her shows that he doesn't want her to ever leave
This also links to Goodwin's theory that music videos are structured
around the match on action and that there is a strong sense of
storytelling to amplify the lyrics.
This again is up to the audience as to how they perceive the lyrics
and how they interpret them.
The narrative of Breezeblocks
is similar to that of the narrative used in
the film Memento, which is
a reverse (retrospective)
narrative. Other aspects
of Memento that are also
shown in both Breezeblocks
and Memento are the motifs
of deception and revenge.