Friday, 6 July 2012

"Wicked Game": David Lynch's Chris Isaak video

It starts with fire and panning up Chris Isaak's fabulous suit and guitar to his quiff and that gorgeous opening line. One of the most dreamy and achey songs ever, and one of my alltime favourites. That guitar twang encompasses all the lovelorn songs in the world. "Wicked Game" is a song so full of atmosphere and romanticised heartbreak that it just about stops the world in its tracks as soon as that unforgettable opening swoons in.

Lynch's video is a tie in with "Wild at Heart" when he was at his peak on the reputations of "Blue Velvet" and "Twin Peaks". The Lynchian world kicked up many an artist's career and reputation (Jack Nance, Julee Cruise, Dennis Hopper, etc, etc) and Isaak was one of benefit greatly too. Isaak and Lynch proved to be as complimentary and brilliant an association as Lynch and Badalamenti. Just as there was often the hint of absurd melodrama in the Lynch/Badalamenti collaborations, there was always something playful and not too earnest about Isaak - and Lynch - which made the sudden turns to dark seriousness and unironic heartbreak that often cropped up in Isaak's work all the more upsetting ("Funeral in the Rain", for example). "Nobody loves no one," Isaak concludes on "Wicked Game", and despite the overheated noir-ish drama of the song, I always felt unsettled by the directness of that coda. Isaak was always as offbeat and dark as his snappy manner and sharp suits and, as he seemed to be roaming the streets of Orbisonville, U.S.A. (a place out of time), perfectly apt for Lynch's surreal and nightmarish Americana (a place out of its mind).