Katy Perry romps through a futuristic amusement park named Oblivia in the bright clip for her new single “Chained to the Rhythm.” The escapist setting, where beaming parkgoers lose themselves in an endless series of rides, allows Perry to drive home the subtle warnings in her lyrics: “So comfortable, we’re living in a bubble/ So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble.”
For the majority of the video, Perry is blissfully ignorant of the dangers of unquestioning conformity. She bobs in sync with other park attendees as they wait happily for the next rollercoaster; in a nice touch, one of the rides in Oblivia allows a person to run in a human-sized version of a hamster wheel, a nod to the song’s lyric video.
Two things temporarily snap Perry out of her reverie: a rose’s thorn, which pricks her finger, and the arrival of featured vocalist Skip Marley – grandson of reggae legend Bob Marley – who offers vague yet enlightening lines about the importance of human interaction and people power: “Break down the walls to connect, inspire/ Up in your high place, liars/ Time is ticking for the empire.”
Perry wrote “Chained to the Rhythm” with Marley, superproducer Max Martin, Sia Furler and Ali Payami. She released the single on February 10th and debuted it live days later at the Grammy Awards.