Moby “One Time We Lived”

Mark Pellington
Add Date:
February 16, 2010


Greetings, everybody, it’s Andy Gesner and the staff of HIP Video Promo, here with a brand new clip from a landmark artist whose work is invariably provocative. The shots are stark, ominous, compelling: a haloed sun in a grey sky, a transparent old man mask hovering above a deserted beach, a cut finger, a shadowed stand of trees. These are Southern California images, and they capture the miraculous beauty of the landscape in vibrant color. Yet as gorgeous as it is, this clip is, foremost, a haunting elegy. There’s mystery in these hills, and menace in these spectacular sunsets. Text appears on the screen in small — but insistent — type, and fades to white. The message is powerful and direct for anyone who has ever lost someone dear to them and struggles with the unbearable burden of grief.

Such is the courageous video for “One Time We Lived”, the latest single from the formidable Moby. Drawn from the newly-released Deluxe Edition of Wait For Me, “One Time We Lived” is quintessential Moby: a relentless electronic pulse, hypnotic synthesizer textures, and poetic lyrics that channel sorrow, bewilderment, and wonder. It’s a meditation on the alarming brevity of life; a philosophical riddle; an open question. As he does on much of Wait For Me, Moby takes the lead vocal himself — and his riveting performance is choked with raw emotion. “One Time We Lived” feels as personal and honest as any Moby song ever has, and given the songwriter’s remarkable discography, that’s quite an achievement.

The clip for “One Time We Lived” is similarly arresting. Director Mark Pellington is probably best known for his iconic rock videos for top-tier bands — he was the mastermind behind Pearl Jam’s much-imitated clip for “Jeremy” and U2’s gripping “One” — but he also helmed the 2002 supernatural thriller The Mothman Prophecies. That movie unearthed the spooky and numinous in a postcard-beautiful industrial West Virginia town, and Pellington’s “One Time We Lived” video does the same for Southern California. It’s not the sun-kissed world of Beach Boys photos — it’s a landscape animated by spectral forces, and populated by the ghosts of those who’ve departed too soon.

It’s not all shots of Los Angeles, though: Moby appears in the video, too, singing “One Time We Lived” straight back at the camera. The songwriter is practically overcome; at times, he seems to be forcing back tears. To heighten the effect, Pellington blurs the sides of Moby’s face; his eyes, lips, and teeth remain in sharp focus. He seems to be melting into the air around him, summoning the verses from somewhere beyond this plane of existence. In one breathtaking sequence, a backlit Moby melts into a circular rainbow; seconds later, we realize we’re looking at the reflection of the sun off of curved hospital windows. In white knockout type, we’re told “this is where she was born”, and, later, “this is where she died”. It’s plainspoken and powerful, comforting without being sentimental, and instantly identifiable to anybody who has ever confronted oblivion.

It’s a pleasure for us to have the opportunity to work with the good folks at Mute to bring you another stellar Moby video. We’re here to set you up with all of your Moby video needs, so please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you need anything at all. If you need more info, call Andy Gesner at 732-613-1779 or e-mail us at You can also or to find out more about Moby.

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For info about Moby’s previous video, “Mistake” click HERE

For info about Moby’s previous video, “Shot In The Back Of The Head” click HERE

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