Music Analysis: "Dog Days Are Over" (2010 version)
Music Analysis Florence & The Machine Indie/AlternativeBy Carmelita Wallace
Background Information• Artist: Florence and The Machine• Name of song: Dog Days are over• Album name: Lungs• Location of video: a white washed room• Genre: Indie/Alternative• Date of release: 1st December 2008• Type of video: Concept based with elements of performance
Genre Characteristics In 1992 Andrew Goodwin identified a number of different key aspects featured in musicvideos. I will explore these aspects in the indie genre and in this PowerPoint look atFlorence and the Machines 2012 version of the “The dog Days are over” Godwins theorystates that each genre as a particular characteristic that help the audience identify itsgenre. After watching various indie artists music videos I Identified a trend with all ofthem. The visuals of an Indie music video tend to be more concept based compared tothe visuals of a rock video which is generally performance based. In a Indie video youwould expect the following characteristics a concept based video with a performance or aperformance with a narrative concept, quirky visuals that tend to make a bold statement.This can be seen in this music video thus justifying the genre.
Relationship between the visuals and the lyrics Goodwins theory states that there should be a relationship between the visuals and thelyrics whether this is contradicting, illustrating or amplifying. In the music video the dogdays are over (2010 version) the visuals amplify the lyrics throughout the music videoalthough the visuals are not literally illustrative they still relate to the lyrics. For examplein the song Florence and the machine says at 54 seconds “The dog days are over, thedog days are done. The horses are coming so you better run” . Even thoughvisually there are no horses running . At this time the visuals are changed from arepetitive close up and medium shots to vibrant, short, long shots that consist of bursts ofcolour. This could demonstrate a horse as if it was running you would only see a glimpseof the horse as it would be galloping fast. Visually the colours could represent a newlight/era as the misensence changes from a plain white background to a vibrant andpassionate one. This relates to the audience of a indie genre as when completing targetaudience research I discovered that people that typically listen to the indie genre considerthemselves and bold individual characters. Thus helping them to relate to the visuals aswell as enjoying the aspect of the lyrics.
Relationship between the visuals and the lyrics continued…These pictures show the vibrant,short, long shots that consist ofbursts of colour
Relationship between the music and the visuals Goodwin’s theory claims that there should be a relationship between the music and visuals/video inany music video. In the music video the dog days are over, the relationship is evident from the editingwhen the chorus appears the visuals tend to cut on the beats compared to when the verse is on screenthe shot cuts from one to another when Florences movement/dancing is coming to an end. Also thepace of the editing increases and no shot lasts for more than two seconds long compared to thebeginning of the song were the shots around 5 seconds. In addition to this there is more variationwith the shots when the chorus comes on, for example there is a gospel choir and drummers in themisensecence compared to the first verse were there is only Florence and the two dancers dressed ingold outfits
Demands of the record Label/Selling theAccording to Goodwins theory, in order to meet artistthe demands of the record label close up shotsneed to be established in order to introduce theartist in the song. Conventionally the main artistis shown first, whether they are a solo artist or agroup. This is usually done with a close up or amedium shot. In the music video the dog daysare over the first shot used is a tracking shotthis enables the artist to be identified as well asthe location and in this case it is a distinct whitebackground. After the first 3 seconds of thetracking shot fast pace editing allows thetracking shot to change, to a close up of theartists face. This allows the artist to beestablished and highlights their unique sellingpoint. Florence and the Machines unique sellingpoint is her quirkiness and her bright gingerhair, This allows the target audience to connecteasily with her as she seems so relaxed in the The picture’s above show Florence in the first 4 seconds ofmusic video and puts all the focus and attention the song . The top picture is the establishing shot used andinto the lyrics and the music of the song. the second is when it changes to a close up shot.
Furthermore framing plays a huge part when trying to sell an artist and the significance theartist has to the song. Throughout the majority of the song Florence seems to be framed in thecentre, the use of central framing is another figure that allows the target audience to identifyFlorence easily; this helps to sell her as it is showing of her talent through both singing andmovement thus helping the sell the Indie image. Her abstract use of costumes also helps to sellthe indie image as from my target audience research I discovered that bold colours/statementsand individuality is part of the Indie culture and there a vibrant colours mainly red and purpleused throughout the entirety of the song thus expressing her personal style. Above is an example of central framing used in the music video
Notion of Looking & Voyeuristic Treatment of The Female Body There is no voyeuristic treatment and very little notion of looking present within the video. One element of notion of looking is when there is a spotlight on Florence while the dancers watch her. This makes the audience feel as if they are getting a glimpse into Florences is world/ mind. It could also connate a telescope or a microscope as if we; the audience are seeing her closer and nothing else matters expect the music and the visuals. This imitates the sense of “looking” closely at someone as she is the main focus. This is also emphasised through the lighting as Florence is in high key lighting compared to the dancers who are in low key lighting.
Intertextual ReferencesIn the music video the dogs days are over there are no Intertextual references to othermedia products such as music or television. This may be due to the fact that Indie artistlike Florence and the Machine are not dependent on other forms of media and like tochallenge the typical conventions that are usually displayed hence the reason why theretarget audience are people of the indie genre.