Animation is the perfect medium to illustrate Damien Rice's new single, "Hypnosis." It's taken from the soundtrack to The Prophet, one of two songs Rice contributed, and the video's images are drawn entirely from the film. Animation's project is to convey a full range of feeling and experience using simple lines, and that's a project Rice's music shares. Rice doesn't have a showy voice, but his delivery and lyrics combine to make deeply emotive music built with uncomplicated tools.
The Prophet, first released in 1923 as a novel by Kahlil Gibran, is a collection of poetic essays presented on-screen in the same vein as Disney's Fantasia — that is, as a series of vignettes illustrated in disparate styles by different animators. Combined, they tell the loose story of an exiled artist working to evade authorities who fear his poetry and its potential to foment rebellion. The corresponding imagery is intricate and impactful, itself a testament to the vitality and variety of the art defended by Gibran's book and this film. Rice's "Hypnosis" does the same. It uplifts, encourages, chastises and mourns at once, with a message to artists and non-artists alike: Keep going. It won't be easy, but it was never going to be. And if you can do that, you'll have all you need.