Imagine Dragons’ newest single “Demons” (Number 68 on the Top 100) presents a surprisingly compelling portrait of the human person through a relatively simple music video premise. The melody of the song fits its genre of alternative rock with a beating rhythm and a chorus that sticks around in your head. The video takes place at one of the band’s concerts and routinely sweeps to the perspectives of four audience members. Each perspective reveals a deep and personal struggle that they face. One faces the tragic loss of her loved ones, another one battles with poor self-image, another one faces domestic abuse in the home, and the final one contemplates his difficult memories in the war.
These inner struggles are made poignant through the song’s lyrics, which discuss the presence of inner demons. Admittedly, the lyrics can seem a bit on the cynical side: “Look into my eyes / It’s where my demons hide / Don’t get too close / It’s dark inside.” However, paired with the individual stories briefly told in the music video, these phrases become more of a cry for help than an admittance of defeat. Particularly due to one of the last lines: “Your eyes, they shine so bright / I want to save that light / I can’t escape this now / Unless you show me how.” This indicates a positive role model that ultimately inspires the singer to preserve the light and even be showed how to.
Another interesting part of “Demons” is the use of religious imagery. There are mentions of saints “all made of gold,” “this is my kingdom come,” and “all the sinners crawl.” These moments in the lyrics are utilized to emphasize the singer’s brokenness and lack of hope in a society “made of greed.” Yet paired with the positive role model of “light” at the end of the song, these moments are somehow reversed.
The overall message of the song paired with the music video’s portrayal of personal struggle leaves a positive impression on the viewer. This is heightened by the last moments of the video, which proclaims “In memory of Tyler Robinson (1995-2013) Who inspired us with his courage as he battled cancer.” This is a fitting note to end on in a music video dedicated to acknowledging and supporting the individual battles we all face throughout life—and the models of light which ultimately save us from ourselves.