Over the course of more than a decade, Chilean indie pop goddess Javiera Mena has built a career on her ability to channel angst and youthful awkwardness into relatable narratives with a danceable edge. Mena’s latest album, Espejo, saw her pivot from the hedonistic grandeur cultivated on previous full-length Otra Era, returning to the honest introspection that fueled the early days of her career, this time with seasoned maturity. That earned wisdom is at the heart of Mena’s latest single “Alma,” spotlighting the healing and transformative power of heartbreak in a brand new music video.
“Melancholy always has a bit of light on the horizon,” shares Mena, unpacking the emotional layers of “Alma” via Whatsapp. “It’s a song that talks about a flash of pain, of separation, but also about having faith that pain will mean something and restore us in the end.”
The Rodrigo Pérez-directed clip was shot during a recent performance at buzzy Chilean music festival Fauna Primavera, subtly capturing the song’s longing through intimate close-ups of Mena and her band and slow-motion takes of the frenzied crowd. At the end of the video, Mena walks off into the sunset carrying nothing more than her guitar, a nod to the perpetual cycle of farewells every touring musician must learn to cope with throughout their career.
“It’s a video that walks the line between opposing worlds,” says Mena. “Loneliness and euphoria. Feelings of intimacy and silence versus more extroverted moments like a concert. I wanted to stick to realism for this video, since I think the song also addresses reality in a way. I think it reflects the duality that we experience as human beings, simultaneously navigating opposing forces like ying and yang,” she adds.
This year, Mena was also tapped by National Geographic to host a documentary series based on the life and career of iconic Argentine rock star Gustavo Cerati, which unfolds over a series of rare studio visits and interviews with family members and close friends. “I think the documentary is beautiful,” she reflects, “both aesthetically and in content, and it respectfully celebrates the mind of Gustavo [Cerati], a prolific artist that gave us so much music and inspired art all over Latin America.”
Watch the video for “Alma” below.