Maya Hawke Releases Explicit Music Video for Her Single “Thérèse”

Stranger Things star and singer-songwriter Maya Hawke has premiered the dreamy music video for a track off of her upcoming album Moss, titled “Thérèse.” The video opens with a warning that the following five minutes will contain X-rated material, and boast that it was shot on 35mm film. Set to Hawke’s languid folk sound, the explicit short harbors a profound message that’s as raw and exposed as the group of friends whose orgy in the woods is broken up by the police. Like so many before her, Hawke is crossing a threshold, emerging on the other side not as a young starlet walking in her family’s shadow, but as a maturing artist with autonomy of her evolving career.


Directed by longtime actor and recent filmmaker Brady Corbet (Funny Games), who Hawke met when auditioning for one of his films, the video for “Thérèse” was impressively shot using 35mm film by cinematographer Trevor Tweeten. The result is a silky resolution that lends its quality to the shadowy, moonlit shots of Hawke’s video, which opens at early dawn in the back of, presumably, a cop car, where someone struggles weakly against their handcuffs. The opening notes of “Thérèse” begin as tastefully lurid shots of the previous night’s debauchery are threaded together by Hawke’s soft croons. In close-ups of bare skin and limbs tangling, the recollection of a group of friends’ bacchanal in the forest is played out over Hawke’s haunting lyrics, “It’s tactless, it’s a test, it’s just Thérèse.”

The lyrics of the song, which are displayed in the video’s description on YouTube, are a melancholy exploration of escapism, evolution and struggling with public perception. Just as Hawke stands shamelessly with her wrists bound, partially undressed in the video, she says, in an interview with Dazedthat when people hear her song she hopes that they “feel something other than shame, self-hatred, and loneliness. I think we are all tired of feeling like that.”

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As the group’s endeavor is interrupted by police, bodies in various degrees of disarray are seen darting like cornered animals through the trees, illuminated by bright spotlights. Hawke and a handful of friends aren’t so lucky and find themselves captured and detained, being led from the forest as the singer stares down the camera and sings:

She reminds me of memories.

Sleeping off the growing pain.

When we were sea anemones,

And spelling out each others names.

Whispering inside my red house,

While the adults were asleep.

I guess Thérèse is just for me.

A quiet I keep on keeping.

Hawke says her track aims to capture “the feeling that loneliness is the worst thing, until you realise it’s far superior to bad company; about how free we are as kids and then as we go through puberty and culture crushes down on us and instead of Being ourselves, we start to try and be like everyone else.” The video, inspired by the work of Japanese photographer Kohei Yoshiyuki, does well to portray the sudden war between what’s private and what belongs to public. For Hawke, the experience of growing up has transpired through a camera lens. While she didn’t act until 2017, her parents are Oscar-nominees Uma Thurman (Kill Bill) and Ethan Hawke (The Black Phone), making a completely anonymous and unaffected youth impossible.

The music video for “Thérèse” features Hawke’s brother Levon Hawke, Christina Leonardi, Natalie Shinnick, Scott Sweitzer, Celine Sutter, Ghazal, The Henry, Leah Scarpati, Queen-Tiye, Karoline, Khaya Cohen, Mackian Bauman, Jack LeGoff, Tomas Espinoza, Katrin Nugent, Kaia Martin, Scout Peterson, Taylor Rosen and Abi Lieff. It is produced by Maddie Browning and co-produced by independent record label Mom + Pop.

Hawke’s single “Thérèse” will be on her sophomore studio album Mossavailable on September 23. You can watch the full music video below:

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