On the surface, the music video for Câlisse’s impassioned new single “Stay” pieces together a slew of clips from old public domain footage. Yet, the visual effects extend much further to the trained eye. Flipping between voyeuristic sightings of lovers and friends to various clips alluding to some sort of farewell, video editor Kristina Colleen strikes to the core of the song’s message. Through this visual manipulation, she captures the struggle of knowing how to love and when to leave.
Yet, the song isn’t to be taken as a token of unrequited love. Love itself is a tricky subject to grasp. Although Câlisse does form a sense of longing within the song, they create a more nostalgic undertone rather than one of measured heartbreak. Times were had and times were lost, and looking back at the past will always hurts to some degree, but as lead vocalist James Colette sings, “I’m getting older.”
Initially written as somewhat of an accident, Colette describes the process of crafting “Stay” as cathartic. “It’s about love, but not immediately knowing how to deal with it,” he describes. “[You move] on to comforts and ultimately learn to love by letting go in spite of wanting the opposite. It’s a complicated thing [to be] aware of yourself, but it’s another to be aware of others.”