Zedd and Hayley Williams don’t share any screen time in their new video for “Stay the Night” — which is sort of fitting, considering they’ve never actually met . Instead, they act out their parts on ethereal side stages, shying away from the spotlight both literally and figuratively.
Sure, they both get plenty of screen time, with Williams providing the lyrics and Zedd adding the musical accompaniment, but their routinely obscured by blurry lights and reflecting angles … the result of director Daniel “Cloud” Campos holding different sized light bulbs and prisms up to the camera’s lens, a low-budget technique that pays big dividends here.
They’re essentially the Greek Chorus here, providing the narrative to “Stay the Night’s” storyline: a pair of troubled lovers , who know they’re no good for each other, yet cannot deny (or ignore) the chemistry they share.
Their attraction is played out through a series of intricately choreographed dance sequences, performed by Campos himself — he’s had a long career as a choreographer and a dancer — and his love interest. They come together, they drift apart, they embrace tenderly and fight passionately, expressing a range of emotions without ever uttering a single word.
At times, “Stay the Night” recalls Pink’s expertly aching “Try” video, though Campos also adds an otherworldly tension to the video by messing with time and space … his dance steps are sped up, slowed down, even played backwards, as if to say what both the protagonists already know: their attraction might be real, but there’s no way it can exist in reality.
And in that regard, “Stay the Night” manages to rise above the glut of EDM videos. In part, it’s due to the “perfect fit” pairing between its two stars, but it also has plenty to do with the smart, sexy and sad way Campos approaches the subject matter. Love doesn’t always work out, no matter how much we want it to … we all know that to be true, though it takes a truly deft touch to express it. Especially without saying a word.