Dev Hynes has a way of putting the complexities of his mind into an aesthetic musical moment, and his latest work as Blood Orange, "Chewing Gum," is no exception. The new video, which the artist directed himself, combines picturesque desert shots with intimate close-ups to match lyrics which equally bring together personal and collective experiences.
The track is a collaboration with A$AP Rocky and Project Pat, and the former stars alongside Hynes in the video, riding ATVs around the desert. The pair wears pastel durags around their heads, and the colorful, flapping fabric matches the sunset and softens the empty scenes around. A sensual, '80s-inspired sound from Hynes accompanies the dreamy visuals for most of the song, but Rocky's verse mixes the sentimental vibes with oral sex metaphors. It makes for a relatable conversation, combining an outpouring of feelings with honest description for a piece that at once discusses social sentiments and modern love. The breathtaking scenes are just an added, Instagram-worthy bonus.
Hynes has been making music as Blood Orange for nearly a decade now, and "Chewing Gum" is part of the project's fourth studio album, Negro Swan. The album as a whole explores people of color's experiences with depression, anxiety, and trauma, both Hynes' own and in general. The musician's goal is to help others find hope within moments of darkness, and the imagery in his latest video fits this, using calming, captivating visuals to complement a song which explores exhaustion from outrage and complex relationships. Maybe this is why modern society has an obsession with visual spectacle: it's exactly what the world needs right now to deal with events that consistently challenge any sense of security and identity.