SZA invites fans into the world of Camp CTRL in her new video for "Broken Clocks." The visual, directed by the singer and TDE's Dave Free of the little homies, harps on the blissful escape of summer sleep-away camp where kids can wander around the woods, swim in a lake, do arts and crafts and sneak in make out sessions at every corner of their cabins.
The video opens like many classic summer movies; with a very long, very loud wake-up call from a camper that takes their job way too seriously. Drawing inspiration from The Parent Trap, Moonrise Kingdom, and Wet Hot American Summer, Camp CTRL has it all — bunkmates pranking each other, a cafeteria food fight, marshmallows roasting by the campfire and more. SZA stands by like an unconcerned counselor, singing about time stopping and indulging in moments that she knows will soon end.
The purposeful liminality of camp is what makes it so precious. It's the smell of heat and dust on you after a long day, the purple gradient of the sky over a lake and trees. The memory-in-the-moment comfort gives a temporary space for the video's young people, and especially the young girls of color, to flourish in a world where only they exist.
It would be enough for the video to fade out at the scene of SZA taking a big, childlike jump into the lake, but instead, she lands knocked-out in a strip club bathroom with another woman frantically trying to wake her and wiping blood from the singer's nose. As the credits roll, SZA and her two friends sit on the curb outside the club. It's a quiet moment, but a brief return to that private girlhood bond that Camp CTRL cradles.