Exploring the subject of death, Alexis Harte brings us both a powerful song and video as he touches on a sensitive question for some: If today was your last day, how would you live it?
The song starts with happy-go-lucky whistling and upbeat guitar strumming as Alexis’s voice follows effortlessly as he sings the line, “On the night of my death, I was feeling fine…” It’s here that the listener realizes — although the beat is one you can definitely nod your head to — the lyrics are about to take you on a different journey.
From beginning to end, Alexis explores the idea of death and self-reflection. The video coincides perfectly with the song as Alexis nonchalantly walks down a road, lonely but with an optimistic attitude. The lyrics, “The guy in the truck, who was mad at his wife…did not see me…”, furthers the idea that we never know when our last day may be, which forces you to think about how your priorities may change if this were true.
“The idea behind ‘The Night of My Death’ [is] to freeze the moment of an unexpected death for the length of a song, in order to explore the final steps we might take to give our lives closure,” comments Alexis.
A powerful moment both in the song and video is when Alexis starts talking about his family. For example, the lyrics, “On the night of my death, I held my family tight,” and “On the night of my death, I wrote letters to my folks…” The visual in the video comes to life as it shows Alexis’s wife in the kitchen, and then a quick scenery change to outside where Alexis grasps his kid’s hand, only to let go abruptly. It’s here that the visual overpowers the song, showing just how fast a life can be taken.
Touching on such a sensitive subject like death, the most haunting visual in the video is Alexis slowly grasping onto to the vines and roots of trees as he goes six feet under. The electric guitar squeals a variety of riffs as Alexis is taken further and further underground. This then cuts back and forth to the visual of Alexis living his everyday life as it’s slowly taken away.
Filmed with a one-man crew using the natural light and surroundings of Tilden Regional Park, the original beat returns towards the end of the song and Alexis almost “rises” from the dead in the video as he is carried toward the light by those that surround him. If you listen closely, there’s an ambulance siren that follows the last verse of the song as the video rolls into the credits, a heartbreaking moment that feels all too real.
“The Night of My Death” is part of a 5-song EP Briefcase that was recently released. Listen here.
Alexis is a prolific musician who gained notoriety for his extensive work under Pollen Music Group for which he created the original lyrics and music for Google Spotlight Stories’ Oscar-nominated animation VR short Pearl. Pollen is donating the proceeds of the track from Pearl to the Grammy’s official charity, MusiCares.