Time no longer feels real: 2020 went by in a flash, as if it never occurred at all, and the years that followed also came and went in a blur. Time has passed, and yet it feels like I’m still in the same place, stuck in my room, even though the door leading to the outside world is wide open. Everything is moving quicker than ever, and one moment I’m starting my second year of college, the next I’m in my final semester as a senior. Has everything I’ve done up until this point even mattered? Will whatever I choose next mean anything in the grand scheme of things? Are the friends I’ve made along the way here to stay, or will they eventually leave and become a faded memory that I look back on with bittersweetness?
Maybe it’s best if I stopped caring.
Oh hey, Woodz feels the same!
His latest single, “Abyss,” encapsulates the fears he’s had throughout his career as an artist – his longevity, what lies ahead, and what he will do when it all fades away. All these worries are presented to the audience in a painstaking way, and we never get any form of reassurance or some rendition of the ‘I will keep my chin up and my spirits high, and walk towards the future!’ message that these kinds of songs often have. In fact, the song ends on an extremely depressing note, with the line, “You know what, more than anything, I must love myself less”.
As someone who deeply enjoys picking away at lyrics and trying to form my own interpretation, this line truly throws me in for a loop. The tone in which Woodz is conveying this line can mean anything: is he coming to a realisation? Is he deciding that he must love himself less in order to be happy? What could he possibly be trying to say? Throughout the song, we see Woodz struggling with his fear of his fans suddenly turning against him, as well as his need to portray himself in various ways to please his fans. His inability to be comfortable with himself in front of other people clearly indicates a lack of self love, and even within the song, he wishes that people would not have to see this part of himself.
The MV also plays a huge role in conveying this message, depicting Woodz in various outfits, each indicating a different personality, and featuring him dancing alone in a huge mansion. While the melody is a bit more upbeat, and we do see him and other characters seemingly dancing around happily, it does not feel liberating. In fact, it suggests that these characters are happy to be trapped inside this mansion all by themselves.
Even though Woodz is alone for most parts of the MV, it never comes across as loneliness. There is some sense of satisfaction in being alone and hidden away from the rest of the world. The scenes in which we see him in a basement never feature him trying to escape or going crazy from being alone. Instead, we see him lying on the ground, indicating that he is satisfied with where he is and he does not need anything else. The need to go outside and explore is never felt, and even when he leaves, it does not feel like a moment that should be celebrated.
The most obvious symbol regarding this is the library door that leads to the outside, but has multiple locks on it. Woodz can very easily unlock it and leave whenever he wants to, but he continues to stay indoors, only choosing to take the leap and unlock the door at the very end. However, this does not come across as a moment of triumph. Woodz unlocking the door and choosing to go out does not evoke a sense of freedom, nor does it feel like something that should be celebrated.
Sure, one may go, ‘Oh he unlocked it!’ at first, but this is immediately followed by worries of what lies ahead. Even after he chooses to step outside, he is not greeted by the warm glow of the sun, or a beautiful and vibrant scenery, but rather, the weather is cloudy and somewhat gloomy. As Woodz looks up into the sky, we are unable to tell what he is thinking. All hope is not lost, but it definitely is not shining bright.
Woodz is a wild card in the music industry – each comeback he makes always presents audiences with new ideas and different sides of him. It is difficult to pinpoint which genre of music he falls under or seems to enjoy the most, especially when his discography covers such a wide range of sounds and moods. However, his ability to make every sound his own enables him to be an incredibly versatile musician, and his unique spin on each genre leaves his listeners longing for more. By getting more personal with “Abyss,” we are able to see yet another side to Woodz. And while the song seems to indicate that the future is bleak, all we can do is trudge on and hope for the best.
(YouTube. Lyrics via YouTube. Images via EDAM Entertainment.)