Ivy Nations create dance-rock: rhythmic new-wavey synth-and-guitar mixtures that make sitting still a challenge. But why stay still when the music refuses to. The video for Ivy Nations’ track, “Live By Design” dropped today, and the track moves and jolts with a refreshing unexpectedness. Never quite sure whether the song is about to blast off or continue on its smooth way, the music swells and falls like a carnival ride in an alternate-reality fairground.
The video uses the lyrics as a thematic base. A man lives his life by rote, with every step and action pre-planned out by white outlines that remind one of the lines that surround a body at a crime scene. It’s a bleak life that is connected to ours by flashes of familiar images. Wind farms, office buildings, transportation via train. The sci-fi world created by the box-carrying worker in the video becomes inseparable from the world we know. The narrative is created by the man’s ability to see — quite literally — outside the box that holds the box. This glitch allows him to break the cycle, to design his own life. But is he really free?