In Review: ‘Give Me Light’ by JD Kelleher

Brighton Rocks Film Festival 2019’s Best Music Video Winner Returns . . .

Unapologetic sexual lease-of-life and gay icon JD Kelleher stars in and directs the music video for his new single release Give Me Light. The music video is a captivating cinematic piece with wide-angle shots of an Irish coastal landscape against the soft light of golden hour, with JD basking in the joyousness of the song’s message.

JD is an Irish LGBTQ+ actor, who alongside his acting career (that includes performing in a whole host of Ireland and the UK’s theatre venues) has a burgeoning career as a musician. His 2015 cover of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart featuring Peter M Smith topped the Irish Rock charts for the marriage equality referendum, landing him a nomination for Best Music Video at Dublin’s Short Film & Music Festival in 2017.

In 2019 he won Best Music Video at Brighton Rocks Film Festival for single Redeem’s music video, in which he is presented in handcuffs with bloody knuckles as the perpetrator of a crime of passion, eventually getting put behind bars. Wearing fifties-esque attire, driving a vintage car captured in stunning aerial shots, the film reaches its crescendo with JD firing a shotgun and getting beaten up himself, by prison guards. Grandeur is what JD does best, and it’s evident in the music video of Give Me Light.

Showing no sign of slowing down, JD’s recent audio-visual return with Give Me Light is shot on the idyllic beaches of Fanore, County Clare. The music video’s direction mirrors the vivacity of JD’s artistic output and individuality by rendering a truly mesmerising visual piece to sit beside the track. The song opens up with contemplative guitar chords that lead into JD Kelleher husky voice; the chorus pauses for an instrumental section with a howling electric guitar solo that continues into a riff acting as the counterpart to JD’s topline.

Described by JD as “…a cool, chilled, gay love song with lovely appropriate pronouns and everything,” the actor-singer is pictured pirouetting to a tranquil, scenic backdrop that flits between day and night, reflecting the transitory nature of falling in love. The fluctuation between the sense of unwaveringness and the anxiety of falling in love itself is what the song is, at its core, about.

The danger of committing to a romantic relationship is depicted in the second half of the music video with a scene that displays JD swinging a fireball while a solo guitar section prowls in the background, stepping up the intensity. Give Me Light and its music video demonstrates JD’s talent for uplifting and empowering his fans via his music and their music videos.

The naturalness of the location with the wind flowing through the satin texture of JD’s scarf indicates the at-oneness of JD’s romantic experience, while the protrusion of his trademark red tailored coat affirms his certainty, asserting his authority of the situation – be it an assuredness of unsureness. This is about having the trust to see something through and being content with not knowing how it will pan out. It’s about being alive.

‘GIVE ME THE LIGHT’ will screen 2 – 4.30 pm on 6 November 2021.

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