JW Sargent – Constant

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I find it both strange and exciting when a new song forces me into a philosophical crisis, like when I listened to JW Sargent’s recent song and music video release, “Constant.” An alternative/indie multi-instrumentalist from Philadelphia, Sargent has just begun his musical journey, planning to release his debut EP “In Retrograde” on November 18th. In preparation for the release, his music video premiered on idobi Radio, giving watchers hints about his style and sound. As I mentioned before, however, this song caused me to ponder for some time on the consistently-questioned attributes of love. 

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The inspiration for this song came from the years it took for Sargent to get back together with a long-distance girlfriend. In an interview with idobi Radio, Sargent said, “I lived alone at the time so I spent a lot of the time by myself working on music. I wrote this about deciding to put fear aside and pursue things for real, despite the distance and craziness of life. Sometimes you have to make your perfect time and perfect situation because after all of that time, my feelings for her had not changed.” Sargent’s comments very much encompass the song’s message, as well as the video. The song opens with lyrics about how the narrator’s life feels empty yet conflicting. He sings, “For once I’m not afraid,” but then follows up with “the walls are caving in.” So while he has confidence, things are not all right. The narrator goes onto his desires of being there for her, to always be by her side and experience life’s turmoil with her. Even so, while life is always changing, his love for her is the one thing that remains the same. She keeps him sane, and if she gives him a chance, he would do anything for her. 

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“Constant” is such a strange song, and the same could be said about its music video. The video takes place in a city, full of muted colors. The video is not completely black, white, and gray, but it has a somber look and sound. Sargent is shown walking and singing through the city, pursuing a blonde woman. They come together at the end, but the majority of the video depicts his search for her. Personally, I didn’t think this was a terrible choice of imagery, yet the song combined with the chase made the narrator seem like a stalker. What if the woman didn’t love him back and was trying to move on with her life? There’s no clear hint to how the woman feels about him, but I still feel it stands on the edge between being romantic and being creepy. 

Now, as I said before, this song got me questioning the concept of love, mostly in the case of whether love can remain constant. Sure, the fact that one person loves another can stay the same, but does the way that person loves stay the same? I don’t think so. Sure, I’ve never been in a relationship, so I have little experience with these feelings. However, looking at my parents, my friends, and many other couples, it’s clear that love can grow or fade over time. If a couple gets married in their early twenties, they will probably love each other for many different reasons in their forties as opposed to the time their bond was forged. So the question remains, did the narrator’s love stay the same during their time apart, or did it grow stronger and deeper than before? Perhaps we’ll see this question answered when Sargent’s debut EP is released.

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