As Ariana Grande’s ‘Sweetener’ album cycle draws to a close (and a whole new one opens, with the upcoming release of ‘Thank U, Next’), the singer has finished things off nicely with the release of the music video for Sweetener’s final single, ‘Breathin’.
The three-minute clip draws inspiration from the song’s themes of overcoming anxiety, featuring the singer walking through a busy train station, as well as at a crowded bar, while singing the track, a fan favourite from her latest album.
However, after the video debuted on Wednesday night, fans quickly began pointing out small details and hidden easter eggs that viewers might have missed the first time around.
Here are just five things you may not have spotted in the ‘Breathin’ video...
The clip was directed by Hannah Lux Davis, who has made a name for herself with a number of hyper-colourful visuals for other artists including Little Mix (‘Power’), Demi Lovato (‘Sorry Not Sorry’, ‘I Believe’) and the ‘Romeo And Juliet’-inspired ‘Alone’ for Halsey and Stefflon Don.
Ariana fans will best know her for directing the arresting videos for ‘Bang Bang’, ‘Focus’ and, perhaps most famously, ‘Side To Side’.
The significance of clouds
Ariana has featured clouds in her visual work throughout her career, particularly on her ‘Honeymoon’ world tour (they are her favourite emoji, let’s not forget), but in the ‘Breathin’ video, they’re used very differently.
Throughout the video, they are featured to obscure Ariana’s vision and hinder her everyday life (at one point the entire upper half of her face is covered by clouds), visually representing her anxiety. By the end of the video, though, she’s conquered her anxieties, and is seen performing on a swing high above the clouds.
The ‘Thank U, Next’ tracklisting
Perhaps the most obvious hidden message, during the train station segment of the music video, a timetable board is shown, with a number of seemingly unrelated words.
However, one of them reads ‘Needy’, an already-confirmed song for her upcoming album ‘Thank U, Next’, with fans coming to the conclusion that the board features a teaser for the release’s tracklisting, with song titles including ‘Imagine’ and ‘Remember’.
In the video for ‘Sweetener’ lead single ‘No Tears Left To Cry’, she used a similar trick, teasing songs from her then-upcoming fourth album in handwritten notes.
A potential Mac Miller tribute?
One song in particular stuck out to fans when they spotted it, with many speculating that her new song ‘Remember’ may be a cover of ‘REMember’ by her late ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller, who died in September at the age of 26.
‘REMember’ was Mac’s own tribute to Reuben Eli Mitrani (hence the capitalised letters in the title), a friend of his who had died a year earlier. What’s more, the time listed next to ‘Remember’ on the board reads 11:11pm, a time when typically associated with wishing on stars and angels.
The hidden voice
OK, so this one isn’t just specific to the video, but we’re including it anyway because it’s lovely.
‘Breathin’ opens with a muffled voice saying something unintelligible, which proved to be very mysterious to fans when ‘Sweetener’ first debuted earlier this year.
However, in September, one fan played the soundbite backwards and realised it was actually a quote attributed by Arianators to the singer's late grandfather, telling her: “Tonight’s your special night, do something magical.”
The opening song on ‘Sweetener’, ‘Raindrops (An Angel Cried)’ was also included as a tribute to her grandfather.
Watch the ‘Breathin’ video in full below: