“Hello, it’s me/I was wondering if after all these years/you’d like to meet, to go over everything,” sings Adele at the beginning of her new track, “Hello,” off the upcoming 25. It’s as though it’s an alternate universe version of “Someone Like You,” where instead of turning “up out of the blue, uninvited” to see an ex, she makes a cordial phone call, and instead of having her heartbroken, she’s broken a heart. But even though on Adele’s end, the proposed meet up is tentative and less invasive and angry, this song is no less dramatic than her heartbreak hit from 21. Because it’s Adele: she can conjure vocal drama even in the tepid acceptance of a separation — “I’m sorry, for breaking your heart/But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore,” she concludes, in a track that’ll still somehow leave you bulldozed.
On top of the emotional gusto of the song itself is the fact that the video — which you can see below — is directed by Xavier Dolan, whose films’ emotional lives often surge in rapturous music-video-ish segments. He’s directed the video as a very straightforward, fittingly affecting and verging on very cheesy, walk through the countryside outside of Montreal. It skips between images of Adele and an ex, played by Tristan Wilds. Dolan said:
It was a privilege to direct the music video for Adele’s beautiful, heartbreaking song. When I first heard it, all the images were already running by so clearly in my head – and her trust and generosity allowed me to create freely. Being on set with her was wonderful. And the thought of directing her in the ‘acting’ aspect of the term was exciting. I discovered that she’s a very talented actress -no matter what she’ll tell you.
In an interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1, which you can listen to here, Adele discussed the track, and also suggested that this will be her final album that draws its title from her own age. Watch the video: