On Monday, Philadelphia band The War On Drugs released a captivating video for “Pain,” a single from their forthcoming album A Deeper Understanding. The video mixes shots of Philadelphia with clips of the band playing on a barge sailing along the Schuylkill River. Shot entirely in black and white, the film looks as if it belongs in U2’s epic concert film Rattle and Hum.
While the pensive mood of Adam Granduciel’s lyrics are a stark contrast to the groove that soothes, the video captures a uniquely Philadelphia vibe that is similar to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s 1991 video for “Summertime.” Both videos used the Schuylkill River as the centerpiece of short films that primarily shunned the obvious shots and captured more localized parts of the city. Instead of sticking to the Art Museum and City Hall, “Pain” opens with children riding bicycles underneath an overpass. As it proceeds, the video flashes to different parts of the city and its people in a way that helps relay the emotion of the song.