Muse returned to their rattling, riff-heavy roots this week with the release of Drones, and to mark the occasion, the band shared a new video for “Mercy,” an epic, grandiose cut with an equally dramatic sci-fi themed video.
While the clips for “Reapers” and “Psycho” found Muse playing with Drones‘ themes of control in a heavily militarized nation, “Mercy” draws on the isolating and mind-numbing effects of technology as a whole, with a Stepford Wives-ian twist.
The clip is set in a sterile, futuristic compound where male scientists work to create the perfect female android. They monitor their test subject’s every movement, make her perform mindless tasks or — when one scientist is seen unbuttoning his shirt — worse, as the days on a reset clock fall away.
Of course it wouldn’t be a Muse video without some sort of rebellion. It begins when the protagonist bumps into a doppelgänger and then stumbles upon a room filled with women who look just like her. Taking cues from empowering notes she finds between the pages of her books, she finally snaps awake and hurtles her texts at the glass partition that separates her from the scientists. She flees and hits the big red reset button in self-sacrifice, waking the other androids.
Muse will tour Europe, Asia and South America throughout the summer and into the fall; no North American dates have been announced yet. Bellamy teased the band’s plans for the Drones live show, telling Rolling Stone, “Its going to be even more theatrical than probably any show we’ve done in North America. I don’t want to promise too much, but we want to incorporate drones into the show. I don’t know what health and safety will allow us to do though.”