As many releases this past year (musical, cinematic, or otherwise) have sought to – in an attempt to minimise the tedium of lockdown life – the new single from Wings of Desire peers through the lens of the mundane, reflecting a kaleidoscopic, near-limitless array of days lived, and introspectively hold up a mirror to the minutiae of our individual personalities.
Now a duo comprised of couple James and Chloe – ex-members of INHEAVEN – the band coalesced from a fierce desire to make sense of the world. They did so through an intense mutual fondness for the (seemingly disparate but similarly distinct) musical chapters of Krautrock, Berlin-era Bowie, Early Noughties New York, and Factory Records; in this, Wings of Desire found an outlet for imaginatively and intricately layered representations of life’s undulations, siphoned via evocative musical backdrops. The band’s debut EP End Of An Age, released back in February this year, was the first exhibit of such vibrant landscapes – a spectral microscope examining existentialism, conformity, and living in the present.
‘Better Late Than Never’, an apparent extension of these feelings, explores contrasting views on the all-too present, gnawing itch elicited by the passage of time and getting older, while also staring into (across and through) a myriad array of the human facets. A leaning towards American indie brings forth complimentary spectrum of both blissful and yearning instrumentation – a searching guitar that also simultaneously evokes a creative euphoria – illustrates this, as well as the timbre in James’ vocals (‘just getting older’), equally wistful as they are celebratory in their soothing tone.
As the band’s description echoes, the track pushes these contrasting themes against notions of escaping preconceived ideas, forming an unshackled self:
“In the west, we are ingrained to think getting older is a bad thing. In the east ageing is championed and seen as an opportunity to gain great insight and wisdom. The song is about letting go and allowing time to take you on a grand journey of self discovery, and finding empowerment in all the life experience one has gained. We need to find the transcendent in a world rooted in constant change and destruction. Otherwise we risk being washed ashore.”
This insight of personal identities is also channelled via the video’s antithetically transcendent depiction of mundane activities. The video is shot on 8mm film, encapsulating the palette of personal attributes present in each individual. Through such a figuratively and literally eye-opening style, inspired by the cinematic technique of Polyvision and the Mike Figgis film Timecode, the duo elucidate the track’s wholly moving themes to even greater depths.