British fashion photographer and filmmaker Alasdair McLellan has directed the music video for The xx’s latest single, On Hold. Known for his adeptness for capturing character and atmosphere in the most familiar and even banal of surroundings, Alasdair this time turns his lens not on gritty Britishness but American high school icons.
The video tells a story of young love amid the ubiquitous American teenage environs we’ve seen a thousand times in films and TV shows, while managing to give it a freshly hazy gaze and beauty that matches up well with The xx’s chilled soundtrack.
It gives a snapshot of life at Marfa High School in Texas, from the Shorthorns football team and cheerleaders, to a rowdy house party and kids sitting in a diner, portraying daily life in the small desert town. Meanwhile The xx joins in the fun now and again, skateboarding and singing down the phone.
The dreamy film however makes little reference to Marfa’s iconic status as an unlikely hub for the arts, known for Donald Judd’s live/work compound the Chinati Foundation, which he set up in the 1970s. The xx wrote and recorded some of its forthcoming album I See You in Marfa. On Hold is on the album, out 13 January 2017.
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