Instagram may not have been around in 1999, but it’s certainly influencing Ruth Lorenzo in 2015. On October 13 Spain’s Eurovision 2014 starlet released the official video for “99”, her nostalgic single that recounts a teenage romance that still stirs feelings in her today.
The pulsating build up to the first chorus almost feels hormonal. The deep beats and pumping sounds capture that overwhelming sensation of young love and sexual awakening. Everything in the song smacks of autobiography — from the raw emotion in Ruth’s voice to the vivid personal details scattered throughout the song. “I remember the room when we kissed and the way you were biting my lip,” she sings. “…and we kiss like we’re sixteen” (the same age Ruth was in 1999).
Intimacy sets the tone. The opening bars are filmed in black and white, with Ruth in lingerie. The Instagram-inspired filters that follow throw us back to 1999. Yet we all know these deliberately vintage shots were filmed with the Ruth of today. It’s a clever comment on how past relationships still shape (and sometimes startle) us, even as time passes and circumstances change.
All in all “99” showcases Ruth’s power to tell stories and elevate pop beyond the disposable. Like Katy Perry on “The One That Got Away”, Ruth has dreamed up a number that’s catchy and meaningful all at once. She conjures up nostalgia, but also the glint of pain that comes with it.