Kate Tempest: Tunnel Vision

Kate Tempest is a singular creative mind with high ambitions for her art. The London-based musician, poet and author takes on big, complex themes with her work, finding lyrically acessible ways to dissect and re-define the things she cares about. Her latest video, released exclusively today on WeTransfer platforms, feels like a mediation on division. Directed by Akinola Davies Jr, Tunnel Vision appears on her Mercury-nominated album Let Them Eat Chaos. The piece started life as a poem, which is reproduced in full below, giving us an insight into the uncompromising power of her words.

Kate Tempest: Tunnel Vision

Tunnel Vision
Indigenous apocalypse
decimated forests.
The winter of our discontent’s
upon us.

Desolate apostles
slurping Strongbow at the crossroads
We are nothing but an eating mouth
Oesophagus colossal

Will not stop until we’ve beaten down
The planet into pellets
Before the interstellar mission to inflict more terror.
It’s killing me it’s killing me
It’s filling me
I’m vomiting
It’s still in me.

Everything is fine really, silly me.

Poor kids shot dead
Poor kids locked up
Poor kids saying
this is the future you left us?
Stocked up, lunchmeat
Processed punch from an unclean fat cat
Tasty tasty poison.

Carcinogenic
diabetic
asthmatic
epileptic
Post-traumatic bi polar and disaffected

Atomised

Thinking we’re engaged
when we’re pacified
Staring at the screen so
we don’t have to see the planet die.

What we gonna do to wake up?
We sleep so deep
It don’t matter how they shake us.
If we can’t face it, we can’t escape it

But tonight, the storms come.

She’s screaming, she’s screaming.
The drones
Turned her beautiful boy into a pile of bones
No body to bury
Nobody is home
Running from war
The boats full
The boats sinking
a mile off shore.
No beds in the hospitals
Our minds are against us

Imagine your daughter was gunned down, defenceless
On her way to school, there’d be uproar
But she’s collateral damage.
It doesn’t matter.

If our kids are fine
That’s enough for us
You can’t love into a vacuum
There’s got to be a limit.

Welcome to the biggest crime that’s ever been committed

You think you and I are different kinds?

You’re caught up in specifics.

You and I apart are easier to limit
The illusions so complete
It’s impossible to bring it into focus

Cinematic stock footage:
People are locusts
Uniformed men keep unleashing explosives.

What we gonna do to
wake up?

We sleep so deep
It don’t matter how they shake us.

If we can’t face it
we can’t escape it.
But tonight the storms come.

Tunnel vision
tunnel vision
Work drinks. Heartbreak.
Can’t face the past, the past’s a dark place.

Can’t sleep.
Can’t wake.
Sitting in our boxes

Notching up our victories
as other people’s losses.

Another day another chance to turn your face away from pain
Lets get a take away
Meet me in the pub a little later, say the same things as ever
Life’s a waiting game
When we gonna see that life is happening?

And that every single body
bleeding on its knees is an abomination?
And every natural being is making communication.
We’re just sparks,
tiny parts
of a bigger constellation.
Miniscule molecules
that make up one body

The tragedy and pain
of a person that you’ve never met
Is present your nightmares,
In your pull towards
Despair

The sickness of the culture
and the sickness in our hearts
Is a sickness that’s inflicted

by the distance
that we share.

It was our bombs that started this war.

It rages at distance,
So we dismiss all its victims as strangers
But they’re parents and children
made dogs by the danger,
Existence is Futile so we don’t engage.

It was our boats that sailed
Killed stole and made frail
it was our boots that stamped
it was our courts that jailed
and it was our fucking banks that got bailed.

It was us who turned bleakly away,
looked back down at our nails and our wedding plans
in the face of a full force gale
we said it’s not up to us to make this place a better land.

It’s not up to us to make this place
a better land

Justice

Justice

Recompense

Humility

Trust is

trust is something we will never see

Till love is unconditional

The myth of the individual
Has left us disconnected lost
and pitiful.

I’m out in the rain
It’s a cold night in London

Screaming at my loved ones
to wake up and love more.

Pleading with my loved ones to

Wake up
And love more.

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