The Toronto-based electro-pop duo Featurette hits YouTube with a powerful music video for their latest conceptual and chilling release, "The Blame."
Fresh off the release of their 2020 dark-pop EP 'Dream Riot,' Lexie and John continue to garner vast attention through their dynamic and versatile releases. More recently, Featurette has landed sync placements on popular shows like Ginny & Georgia, Working Moms, Kim's Convenience, and many more.
The duo's latest single, "The Blame," and accompanying music video speak on the necessary, essential, and emotional story of Lexie's heartbreaking experience as a victim of sexual abuse. "The first step is coming to terms with what happened and letting others know that what's happened or is happening to them isn't their fault. The first step is finding their voice - my voice," states Lexie.
Featurette's single, "The Blame," opens with somber piano melodies and faint background vocals that set the saddening, melancholy, and haunting tone. As Lexie's powerful and airy vocal stylings enter the piece, she later delves into the song's concept where her inner turmoil seems to seep through any escape while leaving her lost and alone with her thoughts. Reaching the magnetic and emotionally charged beat drop, the down-tempo drums by John truly make for a chilling and electrifying listening experience, especially as Lexie continues belting her painful lyricism.
Elaborating on Featurette's music video for "The Blame," viewers can catch an emotionally distressed Lexie as she dances around a dimly lit room abound with visual representations of her traumatic experience. After being tangled in tapes of memories, Lexie slams her sledgehammer through a glass window tainted with the song's title while emphasizing the confrontation of these dreadful, lingering emotions.
Featurette's latest music video for their single "The Blame" truly moves mountains, and we're sure that it will strike an emotional chord within any viewer who graces the conceptual experience. Find the single "The Blame" on all streaming platforms, and watch the song's music video on YouTube.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Featurette. We must start by thanking you for highlighting such an essential concept within your latest single and music video, "The Blame." When did you begin feeling an inner compulsion to create a song based on your experience with sexual abuse?
Thanks so much. It’s been a difficult topic to confront, even more so when it comes to bringing it into my art. I’ve been thinking of writing this song for a long time now. I started writing it around 2018, which is wild considering the first version came out in 2020. When I started writing, I hadn’t even told my parents about the abuse yet. I had only a few people who knew, and I thought that would have been enough. But over the years the this kept coming to the surface for me, creatively and emotionally speaking. At first writing the lyrics as poetry was enough, then the song started taking shape, but I wasn’t really in a great head-space to perform those words I had written to the best of my ability. It was a lot to take in. When we recorded the first version, I didn’t have creative control of the production, and I think I was relieved to not have to go through that at the time. Knowing it was going to be on the record, I felt like I’d put it to rest. But after a year in Covid, with so much time to look inward, I decided to tear that wound open one last time, so we re-did the track as it always should have been. I finally feel at peace with myself, having told my story without hiding. It’s like therapy, through my art.
Did your duo face any personal challenges when creating your single/music video, "The Blame?” Was it challenging to open up about your tragic experiences?
The good part is that Jon already knew my story. Since he’s my partner in all things, life, and music, he’s one of the few people that have known for years now. He’s been really supportive through all of it, especially in this most recent rendition of the song. I remember the day we decided we were going to start from scratch on the track, and open up that wound again, Jon was holding my hands as I was really going through the gauntlet of emotions. I’m glad we made the decision to redo everything, even though we were already in pre-production for filming, and starting the track again meant that we were in the studio up until the day we started filming - we really only had a month to turn everything around before the day we were set to shoot. Somehow we poured everything we could into it, and it came out exactly as I’d imagined it. All while constructing set pieces and sourcing props in Covid in our spare time. It was a huge undertaking, but I think we’re stronger now because of it.
Being that Lexie creatively directed and produced the music video for "The Blame," how did you create the scenes to remind listeners of the importance of confronting your emotions and not holding the blame?
I think, ironically, the main message I’m trying to get across in the song is that I’m taking all the blame, for not having done anything sooner. Even though it’s not my fault, even though it’s not mine to take. The other party isn’t taking that role, so I have to, in order to heal and move forward. A lot of survivors are the unwilling bearers of that weight. It’s a secret we carry with us that crushes us, robs us of our power. In the music video, I tried to show the juxtaposition of childhood innocence, contrasted with over-sexualization and darkness. It’s disturbing, but it’s meant to show how ludicrous it is that someone in my position, as so many people have been, should have to take on this burden at all. But my breakthrough moment is when I shatter the invisible barrier that I’ve been hiding behind all these years. Coming into the light with my story, I’m taking back the narrative, unafraid to confront my emotions, and counting my blessings for being in a position where I feel safe and supported enough to tell my story, and not let it control me anymore.
Again, we sincerely applaud you for opening up about your tragic experiences and shining a light on a victim's struggle with sexual abuse. Is "The Blame" your first time around creating something so personal and intimate? Or are emotional tracks like this a common occurrence for your duo?
I wouldn’t say that tracks this personal are a common occurrence for us, certainly not to this level, but we do write from the heart. Our first record CRAVE dealt with relationships, and there were themes of abusive behavior, even touching on physical and emotional abuse, but nothing as direct as this. That record was more about toxic behavioral patterns in relationships and learning how to break free of that, by finding love for yourself, as a separate entity from your partner. Dream Riot was also very personal in that it dealt a lot with mental health and environmental issues, or by and large, societal issues. But this is another level. This is less of an abstract address and more of a direct shot at one individual. Since this happened to me, it’s not my feelings about sexual abuse, it’s my lived experience. The video and the lyrics alike intimately hold secrets personal to my story. So while we do write about topics we feel deeply connected to, that’s historically been a more abstract and artistic interpretation, rather than a straight-shot like this piece.
What's your favorite release of 2021 so far from an artist you admire?
Ashnikko’s mixtape which finally came out in February was amazing - I love hearing the textures in her voice. I love how out-there she is, so unapologetic and fun, full of imagination and grit. The new Billie Eilish I’ve heard so far is *phenomenal*. She’s such a force and does so much with so little in her vocals. She’s a master of drawing you into her world and holding you hostage there - although I’m a willing participant! I’m excited to hear more when the rest of the album drops. Thanks so much for chatting with me, and making space for me to tell my story.