Goodwin’s Theory – Arctic Monkeys (When the Sun Goes Down) Indie/Indie Rock Genre
Music Videos Demonstrate Genre Characteristics• “When the sun goes down” by Arctic Monkeys falls into the Indie Rock genre. Indie Rock videos are often associated with instruments being played in the video, lots of shots of the lead singer and a specific storyline. Typical locations for indie music videos are often rural such as in a forest or very urban such as taking place on city streets and subways. Indie music videos often tell a story and are upbeat.• We can see that this music video clearly fits the Indie Rock genre, as it tells a story about a prostitute and her life through mostly narrative shots, many of these shots taking place in council houses and on the streets, which is extremely typical in indie rock music videos, although not always under the same circumstances as this kind of setting is usually used in performance based music videos or ones that are less narrative. The song is very upbeat and lively, following the Indie Rock convention.
Relationship Between Lyrics and Visuals • In the music video, “When the Sun Goes Down” by Arctic Monkeys, there is a very strong relationship between lyrics and visuals, most of the lyrics translating literally into what is happening in the music video. Because of this, we would call the relationship between the lyrics and visuals in this song Illustrative. At the very beginning of the music video we see an illustrative relationship between the lyrics and the visuals when the main character is introduced, the lyrics saying “So whos that girl there? I wonder what went wrong so that she had to roam the streets”, whilst showing a shot of a girl who appears to be homeless in a poor looking area, the lyrics beginning to explain why she has a life of prostitution.As the story unfolds and we learn more, the pimp isintroduced and we see his nature reflected by both the lyricsat the same time, showing him to be a greedy, maliciousman. The lyrics at this point in the video read “And what ascummy man. Just give him half a chance I bet hell rob youif he can”, the man stealing an egg from the plate of the girlas the lyrics “rob you if he can” sound. This shows the literalnature of the music video and further demonstrates that it isillustrative.
Relationship Between Music and Visuals• In this music video there is a fairly strong relationship between the music and the visuals, as a lot of cuts happen directly on notes, making it flow nicely. We can also see the way in which the visuals in the music video change when the tempo of the song changes. At 0:58, the verse ends and a guitar solo starts, increasing the tempo of the song. Mirroring this in the music video, illustrative shots become less prominent and instead we see more shots of roads, giving an idea of a busy night on the streets in the city. While the tempo of the music speeds up, so do the cuts as well and so we see lots of different images along with the music.
Demands of the Record Label (Need for close-ups of the artist and motifs of the artist which may recur across their work)• Unlike many Indie Rock bands, there does not seem to be any member of the band present in the music video and there is no noticeable motif in this video that is distinctive in other works by Arctic Monkeys either. The band are signed to Domino records, who are not one of the largest record companies, possibly explaining the lack of demands and influence. However, while this is the case with this music video, other music videos also by Arctic Monkeys are not the same and include many close ups of the band.
Reference to Voyeuristic treatmentof and looking at the female body• While the lyrics of the song and the video do technically show and talk about women in a sexual manner, seeing as the main character is a prostitute, they do not talk about her as though she is someone who they look at in a voyeuristic way, and instead tell the sad story about her life and the terrible consequences of living a life where you are seen voyeuristically by other people constantly and as an object.
There is Often Intertextual Reference• There do not seem to be any intertextual references within this music video or links to any other form of media or anything else of that sort, as the video is quite serious and instead focuses solely on the storyline behind the music.
Performance based, Narrative based or Concept based music video?• This music video is very narrative based rather than performance or concept based, as it tells a story of a woman’s life and how a city changes when it gets dark. The shots used focus on the main character as though it was a film, with no inclusion of the band in the video or even the lead singer, the music simply narrating the visuals illustratively.