Why Don’t We makes a stellar music video with their new single “Lotus Inn”

“The Good Times and the Bad Ones” Album Cover

Iris Breckenridge, Managing Editor, Columnist

With everything that has happened in 2020, we could all definitely use some good news. As if right on cue, the boy band Why Don’t We recently announced the release date for their album “The Good Times and the Bad Ones.” Shortly after, they released their newest single, “Lotus Inn,” the third track on the album. Then on Dec. 7 the music video came out on YouTube. Because the video got over a million views in 24 hours, I figured it was worth talking about.

The video was different than what I was expecting, but it definitely lived up to any expectations I had. The chorus starts, “Cause I never want this night to end/baby we could turn back time/do it all over again/tomorrow we can press rewind/we’re staying at the Lotus Inn,” which gave me the impression that the video would be about a perfect night that he wished would never end one that he wanted to relive over and over. This got me thinking that because it was so perfect, he would be going back and rewinding time to relive it. 

The concept of the video is about Jonah trying to impress this girl, but he keeps messing things up in almost every way possible. From falling down the stairs (my personal favorite) to having a drink spilled on the both of them, he ends up rewinding about nine times. Each time something goes wrong, the time either backtracks or is a fast forward to him the next morning turning off his alarm clock, which turns back the time. In this scenario, the night takes off right before he messes it up and then he fixes it by saying the right thing or preventing disaster. His last rewind is 60 percent of the way through the video and the rest of the night goes smoothly after that; everyone is having a good time and Jonah hits it off with the girl as they dance for the rest of the night. This crazy time warp finally ends as he gets through the night without any mishaps.

The video was so much more than that though; there were a ton of creative aspects that made the video entertaining. It started with a narration and introduced Jonah who was going to be turning back time, and who evidently sings the majority of the song (which I assume is why it is him and not one of the other band members as the “main character”). Jonah is in an “infinite time loop scenario” of love, but he doesn’t know how he got in or how to get out. The narrator suggests that it could have been because of the Lotus flower drinks he has had and that there is only one way to get the night right. When he does “get it right,” his time loop will stop.

Another creative aspect of the video that begins during the narration and continues throughout is how there are clips of film that show how the night is being rewinded, like they are rewinding and fast-forwarding through a tape. There’s sound effects to go with the visuals too, which makes it seem more real. The lyrics “we could turn back time” and “do it all over again” even match up to when they show the time being rewound.

The coolest part about the film clips was towards the end, right before the song hits its final burst of energy. As a build up to the final lines, the song slows down as Jonah sings “tomorrow we can press rewind.” When he says “rewind,” the screen of the bottom of a YouTube video pops up and he drags the time bar backwards, which rapidly rewinds the video. It even makes the cool whirring sound that builds up to the beat drop. It was exactly like how a YouTube video would look if you were in the middle of it and pulled the bar back to the beginning; all the scenes reversed and a mini screen of the video pops up to show you exactly what part of the video you’re at. It was so surprising and unexpected (at least for me) that I was a little confused at first; definitely one of those “Wait, what’s happening?” moments, but the best kind.

When I first heard the song I was thinking it could’ve been inspired by Percy Jackson or Greek mythology in general, a literary allusion to “The Odyssey.” Percy Jackson came to mind because in the first book “The Lightning Thief” they visit the Lotus Casino, get lost in time and end up trapped for what feels like one night but ends up being days. The seemingly endless day is because of these lotus flowers that they’ve been eating. This idea was really similar to the concept of the song, and was evidently inspired by the Land of the Lotus Flowers in “The Odyssey.” At the Lotus Inn, where the boys are staying, their drinks have the flowers in them and Jonah (and the rest of the group) ends up in an infinite time loop. (It looks like the narrator was right about the “trippy lotus flower drink” being related to how he got into this situation). In both the book and the video, the lotus flowers intoxicate everyone and make them feel disconnected from reality. And although the book doesn’t completely match up with the music video there is enough similarity in the fact that they both seem to be a time warp/loop. (And if it was exactly like Percy Jackson there would be no originality, which is no fun). I wasn’t sure if these similarities were a coincidence or if the song was inspired by the book, but as it turns out that I was right about my Percy Jackson theory (and I now feel very smart for making that connection), and not only that, but learned how the entire idea is an allusion to mythology and “The Odyssey.”

Though it was not what I was expecting, the video is still fun and creative, giving off an overall liberating feeling about letting loose and having fun for whoever is watching. It matches up so well with the catchy lyrics and captures the sensation of feeling so high that nothing can bring you down. I highly recommend watching it!