Inhabiting an aggressive, potentially dangerous, side of female empowerment, the new MXMS track “Gravedigger” is a warning cry to hopeful suitors from unmerciful singer Ariel Levitan: behave, or suffer the consequences.
And the Grammy-nominated director Israel Anthem’s accompanying video, which BlackBook premieres here, drives home the point with less than subtle imagery – including the most memorable use of a grapefruit in female/male relations since James Cagney’s Public Enemy scene some 88 years ago. Otherwise, there’s a continuous close up shot of Levitan singing while a cavalcade of mysterious figures – some horned, some in pig masks – and dreamlike environments move across the screen behind her.
“The ravaging of the grapefruit represents primal instinct,” enlightens Levitan (also a House of Harlow 1960 model), “[as well as] carnal desires, and reclaiming my power and individuality – which had been diluted and suppressed for so long.”
The music of MXMS – an LA duo which includes creative partner Jeremy Dawson – is described by themselves as “funeral pop.” And every one of their tracks, from “After Night” to a particularly intense cover of Nirvana’s “Something In The Way,” shudders with potential doom. Even the more subtle, elegant “omg” features a drowning scene in its video.
So, you know…proceed with caution.