by: Sara Conway ’21 A&E Co-Editor
Some songs tell of great romances. Others pine for those loves that slipped through their fingers. James Lee and Kevin Woo’s recent collaboration, “Falling,” which was released digitally on Aug. 2, speaks of that lost love. However, the premiere of the music video on Oct. 26 does not solely dwell in the desperation and somber emotion of the lyrics; rather, “Falling” tells a story overflowing with dark humor.
Lee teams up with Woo, a member of the former K-pop group, U-Kiss, and is now pursuing a solo career, in “Falling.” However, the two have worked together prior to the release of the song and music video as Lee and Woo toured together with the rock band FYKE in August for shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Before launching his solo career, Lee was a member of bands that focused on a variety of genres including metal, indie rock, and K-pop which speaks to his versatility as an artist. Then on June 10, 2015, Lee was in an accident that caused him to lose his left hand, leaving him unable to play the bass which he had played for 13 years. Following his recovery from the accident, Lee played synth for his former band, Royal Pirates, for a short period until he left the band because of his worsening condition. Lee officially released music as a solo artist in 2018 and presented his first EP, The Light, in August of that year. Since then, Lee has released a number of singles, including “Falling,” his most recent project.
In the opening scene of “Falling,” Lee’s character tries to make a speech at the wedding reception of the person for whom he has fallen. He finally gives up hiding his feelings and, with the help of Woo’s character, crashes the wedding. The two cause chaos in their tuxedos, throwing and kicking the gifts, tearing down the “Mr. and Mrs.” balloons, wreaking havoc with a flamethrower, and destroying the wedding cake. Woo even enters a scene with a chainsaw to divide up the bride and groom cut out.
As chaos reigns, the bride and groom look on in horror, and the other guests helplessly watch the planned festivities come crashing down with confusion and surprise clear in their expressions. Among those guests are some familiar faces: YouTubers Mike Bow and Linda Dong, known for their channels, MikeBowShow and LeendaDProductions, respectively; the drummer of the American heavy metal band, Lamb of God, Art Cruz (Lee used to be in a metal band with Cruz called Azusa); and even Lee’s parents make an appearance in the “Falling” music video.
The comedic narrative and the wide range of emotion expressed in “Falling” is realized through the direction of Brad Wong in his “kinetic, nostalgic and darkly romantic” style, as described on his director’s website. The “rich palettes, deep shadows and an aggressive yet vulnerable air” distinct to Wong’s style also finds its way into “Falling” through the balance of the emotion-driven lyrics and the wedding crashing that Lee and Woo’s characters do.
While the “Falling” music video is humorous in its own right, the artists let their fans join in the fun by inviting them to create memes from selected clips, whose file names include “flamehrower_clean,” “kevsuperextrajacketthrow,” and “MomDadIwanttobeanArtist.” The “Falling” clips can be found through a Dropbox link in the caption of the music video on Lee’s YouTube channel. The artists shared their favorites across their social media platforms in which the winners received new “Falling” merchandise.
Through the release of the music video of their recent collaboration, Lee and Woo’s “Falling” is a testament to the dynamism and versatility of the two artists as dark humor is woven with a song that speaks of pain.