First Watch: Alexis Roberts, 'Play House' Seemingly banal at surface level, the visuals for the Atlanta singer-songwriter's only song to date represent the impossibility of meeting in the middle once a relationship is beyond repair.

First Watch: Alexis Roberts, 'Play House'


LANGUAGE ADVISORY: This video contains profanity.

Representing Atlanta, Ga., Alexis Roberts is a 20-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist so fresh out of the gate that "Play House," the song that serves as the soundtrack to this video, is the only one she's put out to date. Luckily, her music and vision speak for themselves.

At first glimpse, the visuals for "Play House" may seem banal: A handsome fella, an expansive desert, pretty colors. But if you pay close attention, or watch it for a second time, you'll see that there's a real story at work here, with a beginning and a very clear ending.

Co-directed by Rachel Denis and Jake Hart, the video starts out with Roberts and her love interest on a beach, but visibly emotionally distant from one another. Soon after, she's miles away in the desert. Stereotypical scenes play intermittently of the two sharing moments that seem almost too perfect to actually have transpired.

As telling lyrics swim by ("Baby, you don't know me / Pretend that this is true / Play house is what we do"), it becomes clear that the two are at a place beyond reconciliation. And that's when the visuals start to wrap themselves around the storyline. We see Roberts singing alone in a dilapidated house, a literal rendering of "playing house" in an unsalvageable relationship. We also see the two together, but never fully embracing or even acknowledging one another. They stand back to back, vaguely aware of one another's presence, but refusing to tackle their issues head on.

By the end of the video, the couple has swapped locations: Her, resigned on the beach; him, unknowingly chasing a long-gone love in the desert. The distance represents the impossibility of meeting in the middle once a relationship is beyond repair. Sometimes, there's just no renovating a broken home — and playing house won't cut it.