Poignant, powerful, moving and enthralling are only some of the ways you can describe the video for Sam Fender’s track Dead Boys. The track itself is about male mental health and the stigma/double standard that men cannot be fragile or emotional about things that affect them. Sam shows a maturity that is beyond his years with lyrics like, “Our tussle with the black dog, Some are loud and some are silent,” and his emotive vocal is something to behold as you feel every single word that he sings.
The music video was directed by Vincent Haycock and produced by Park Pictures and throughout this music video we are shown different ways these young men suffer with hanging ropes in the middle of street representing suicide, a bag with shoes representing a boy jumping to his death and pills left on the kitchen side. All powerful statements but one moment left me speechless. One boy standing with a plastic bag over his head attempting to suffocate himself whilst others watch on doing nothing. A poignant message about the stigma of mental health amongst men.
“The video means a lot to both of us: I’m incredibly proud of the call to action Sam put forth and entrusted with me. Our theme was toxic masculinity and fragile masculinity, and how this can effect young men. I wanted to maintain focus and yet slightly abstract the visuals so that it becomes more about the pressure people are feeling and the possible hopeful outcome that love could bring to these situations.” – Vincent Haycock, Director of Dead Boys