This Week’s Creative Highlights: August 20th
“The afternoon of the year”, is how the award-winning best-selling author Georgi Gospodinov described August. Those words connote a poetic stagnation, silence, nostalgia, even melancholy. I would normally agree with him but this August is nowhere near stagnant considering how remarkably dynamic the global creative industry is. Here is a summary of the past few days’ creative highlights that once again showed us what remarkable time we live in.
Bringing the Hollywood glamour of the West and the exotic authenticity and cultural heritage of the Middle East. Is there a better way to present Dubai as a global creative center and a modern destination that has a spot and an experience for literally anyone?
A new global campaign, Dubai Presents, launched by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and advertising agency Mother London, aims to raise awareness of Dubai as one of the most popular destinations and to attract tourists from all around the world. Starring in the campaign are two of the most recognizable faces of Hollywood, Jessica Alba and Zac Efron.
The campaign uses the power of the cinema throughout a series of movie trailers. They portray the city’s multifaceted experiences and picturesque architecture. The trailers, showing different situations, aim to capture Dubai’s cultural and natural diversity while highlighting that there’s a lot going on in this ultramodern megapolis. Through drawing on a variety of cinematic genres — from spy action and rom-com to cuisine and nature documentaries, the campaign emphasizes the diverse experiences visitors can enjoy during their stay.
Having taken on the role of a production house — Dubai Presents — the city invites visitors from around the world to come and be the main character in their own cinematic experience, and write their own unforgettable story. And there is evidently plenty to do in Dubai — from enjoying premium cocktails at a bar in the Burj Al Arab to relishing the views from the observation decks of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.
The list goes on with safari adventures in the desert and treating yourself with luxury at The Dubai Mall. You can also choose between simply getting lost in the thrill of the street foods, or blessing your Instagram followers with a #dinnerwithaview photo of the sophisticated and elegant meal you just had at the multi-award-winning Italian restaurant Pierchic.
Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), commented:
“Dubai Presents builds on our leadership’s vision to embrace innovation and marks a new era in destination marketing as we showcase some of the most recognisable architecture and landscapes as well as hidden gems to inspire audiences across the world and offer them a travel entertainment platform like no other. For travelers, this campaign offers a sneak peek into the experiences, hospitality and infrastructure that have firmly placed Dubai amongst the world’s most visited destinations.”
Overall, it’s a unique and thought-through concept that takes the Hollywood cliches and turns them into an advantageously outstanding final product. I can bet that in the weeks to come there will be a surge in flight bookings. So grab your passport, swimsuit, and camera (don’t forget a classy outfit, too) and get on a plane because the tourist season in Dubai is far from over.
The Wombats’ Covid Baby
My all-time favourite indie rock band brought colour to this week by launching the If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming With You track. The song teases fans about the band’s upcoming fourth studio album — Fix Yourself, Not The World. It is set to be released on January 7th, 2022.
The new song is yet another story marked with witty and metaphorical lyrics and an overall meaning that hits you right in the feels. The track reflects on interpersonal relationships and the impact lockdown has had on them. The album itself was recorded remotely during lockdown.
I discovered the British band a few years ago and I immediately felt the connection between myself and their art. You know that type of songs whose lyrics always resonate with your personal life…? Well, their art is accomplishing exactly that.
In an interview with George Godfrey for Radio X, the lead vocalist Matthew Edward Murphy (Murph) described the If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming With You track music as “The Weeknd meets the Wombats with a bit of The Wytches at the end” and to me, this seems like the perfect mix. And yet, he added that the song is not necessarily indicative of how the whole album is going to sound.
I wonder if the upcoming album will be as good as, if not better than their 2018 Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life record. The latter was a commercial success, as it hit the Billboard 200 and peaked at number 5 on Billboard charts. Judging by the sneak peek at the album provided by Method To The Madness and the If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming With You tracks, the album is about to be another emotional explosion of metaphors and truths.
I am absolutely buzzing to hear what The Wombats have been working on and how they have used their creativity to turn the past challenging year and a half into their unique art.
Jungle Keeps Moving With Its “Loving in Stereo”
The British electronic music duo Jungle launched their third studio album, Loving in Stereo, and it offers quite the experience. I am intrigued to see how the duo is evolving as they are evidently open to exploring different approaches to their music.
Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland have incorporated funk, groove, and disco sounds with some old-school hip hop into the 70s-influenced tone of the album. Loving in Stereo has a distinct jazzy sound that distinguishes some songs from the artists’ previous tracks.
The focus appears to be more on the music than the lyrics. I don’t blame them as they certainly do have what it takes to produce outstanding music. Also, a few of the songs are shorter than 3 min but it seems just enough for each to evoke summery and joyful feels along with the urge to hit the dancefloor and get lost in the heat of this sun-kissed music.
Personally speaking, I am having mixed feelings about the album. When the Dry Your Tears and Keep Moving tracks were released, they created certain expectations as to what the album would sound like. It turned out that they have definitely played with the genres in an unexpected way as the songs vary in terms of tone and style. I am far from disappointed, though, as it’s an interesting turn. And yet, they have managed to keep the classic dreamy and psychedelic buoyant Jungle vibe that makes them them.
As I am finishing up this blog post, I am sipping my afternoon coffee and I am reflecting on the past few days. A few things and conclusions come to mind. One is that fortunately, I will have new playlists with songs to sing in the car over the weekend, but also discuss with my friends with whom I share my fandom. The other one is, why on Earth have I not visited Dubai yet?!