Jesse Mac Cormack's 'Give A Chance' And The Ordeal Of Living

Mar 26, 2019
Originally published on March 26, 2019 1:03 pm

I didn't know what it was about this song that enthralled me. Then Jesse Mac Cormack, the Montreal songwriter told me this: "My initial goal was to write a song using African ternary rhythm in order to create a trance in concert." So, now, as I listen. I hear those repetitive patterns; they're in his rhythm tracks and also in the three-word patterns he uses. The lyrics are, as Jesse told me, about "the birth and death of relationships, how you must let them go when seasons change when it's time to look for new paths. There is no shortcut for those things. You have to go through them."

The frenetic-paced, somewhat manic imagery in this video amplifies Jesse Mac Mac Cormack's intense song. When asked about this imagery, director Frédérique Bérubé wrote back with what at first seemed like a random quote from the biologist Henri Laborit: "Faced with an ordeal, man has only three choices: fight, do nothing, or flee." It felt more succinct than random after I gave it more thought. Frédérique Bérubé went on to say that "in the video for 'Give a Chance,' we follow humans making their way across the multiple ordeals of life — with rope as a metaphor — towards that proverbial light that everyone tries to have in themselves at all times."

"Give a Chance" can be heard on Jesse Mac Cormack's debut album Now, which comes out on May 3 on Secret City Records.

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