Hey Brother by Avicii
In Avicii’s “Hey Brother”, the Swedish born DJ presents this single from his album “True”, his debut studio album. The song has vocals from bluegrass artist Dan Tyminski (I Am a Man in Constant Sorrow from the hit movie O’Brother Where Art Thou?) and was written by Avicii, Ash Pournouri, Salem Al Fakir and Vincent Pontare.
The song was released as the album’s 3rd single on October 2013 in the countries of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Aviccii manages to incorporate the sounds of country bluegrass and his own mixture of electronic dance to present a melancholy and sorrowful message about presumably two brothers whom were affected by war.
The scenes are a rendition of pax Americana circa 1960’s as the song opens up with white gloved hands opening a rusted red tool box before uncovering what looks like a collection of old war memorabilia. In the picture you see the crazed eyes of a dirt caked face soldier in Vietnam vintage fatigues. If one has a keen eye, one can pick out that the photos used in the video are authentic ones taken during Vietnam and the images can be found in the Time Life series books dedicated to the history of the Vietnam War. There are other symbols of military heroism to include dog tags, a properly wrapped flag, and other tokens of service.
It would seem we begin a story about a boy skimming through an old style motor home with flags waving and people out and about with vintage cars of the period being a back drop as two crew-cut teenage boys share various moments of brotherly love. The older brother is fixing bikes for the younger one, putting coins on a rail road track to be flattened by a train, and hanging out with a touching scene where the older brother lets loose a large collection of fireflies into the night sky for the two to watch.
The scenes that are mentioned also flow along images of the impending war with the boys walking through the town square while the TV’s in the store windows show Huey helicopters dropping soldiers in the field and flashbacks of the pictures seen in the tool box.
“Hey Brother” may be one of Aviccii’s more thought provoking songs yet for any military buff would point out the chevrons of lance corporals and sergeants of the United States Marine Corps dress blue uniforms while they are holding M1 Garand Rifles for the 21 gun salute, a ceremony done for military funerals. It would appear as a surprising end when you see Avicci walking away under a star lit night minus the other brother, realizing that the whole time, one of the brothers was represented as the father the younger brother lost.
The gist of the song then comes together in which the scenes are basically the emotion of the younger brother wanting his father back, the older brother he never had due to him dying in Vietnam. This was a surprisingly patriotic video coming from someone who is of Swedish decent but never the less; the dance tune and blue grass ensemble allows a bridge between the old and the new, a creative step forward which takes Avicci to the next level.