The music video for Death Cab for Cutie’s ‘You Are a tourist’ had a very temporary feel to it. Shot as a live performance clip and released instantly for the fans as the official video, the clip didn’t turn out to be as memorable as the band wanted it to be. Hence, when they decided to make a video for their next song ‘Home Is a Fire,’ they were looking for something that would stick in viewers’ minds and that is exactly why they hired Shepard Fairey to assist them with their new clip.
On May 6 the band released the music video for ‘Home Is a Fire,’ which they have made in collaboration with Fairey and DCFC bassist Nick Harmer. The clip takes the audience through a series of locations in Los Angeles including the famed Hollywood hills. But the clip is not just a random journey. The unique touch is that the lyrics of the songs have been pasted wherever the eye of the camera takes the viewers in LA. These murals are obviously the work of co-director and artist Fairey, who enable Death Cab for Cutie to leave a long lasting impression on the audience’s minds, something the failed to achieve with their previous clip.
And that’s not all. When the lyrics are combined with the unusual sights that the video features, then the meaning of ‘Home Is a Fire’ elevates itself to a whole new level. Some of the selected lines from the songs are: “Cars on the freeway/ tempting a clean break/ There’s nowhere left to go,”- a mention of the city’s much publicized traffic problem, and “Plates they will shift/ Houses will shake/ Fences will drift,” which hints at the seismic fright that is associated with the area.
But it’s not like that the song has been made only for the LA natives only. The message is common and can be attributed to almost anyone who feels being a captive of big city open spaces and seems alienated even at the most familiar places of our crowded world. On the band’s official website, Harmer posted a statement, which reads, “There are many narratives here or there are none, it either makes sense or it doesn’t. But regardless of whether or not this ‘means’ anything to you, I hope there is a mood and atmosphere in the music and images that makes you think about your familiar spaces and how you define them.”Death Cab for Cutie, Home is a Fire, Shepard Fairey