By Amanda Wicks

Shawn Mendes is just days away from releasing his sophomore studio album Illuminate, but ahead of its Friday (September 23) drop he’s sharing the new music video for “Mercy”.

Related: Shawn Mendes Releases Soulful ‘Don’t Be a Fool’

The video’s split narrative finds Mendes in a car quickly filling with rising water. With the car’s windows shut and the doors closed, Mendes can’t find a way to escape, much in the way that the girl he likes won’t give him any openings to move beyond friendship. He’s stuck in both situations. The result is a powerful video driven by Mendes’ emotional and taut performance. “Oh please have mercy on me/ Take it easy on my heart/ Even though you don’t mean to hurt me/ You keep tearing me apart,” he sings on the chorus, the vein in his neck nearly popping with strained feeling.

In between shots of Mendes in the car, he plays guitar, piano and drums by himself in a lushly colored rehearsal space. Even though he’s safe and dry, he mirrors the heightened emotion he displays while trapped in the car elsewhere in the video.

Fret not, fans, he finally finds a way to smash through the car’s window and swim his way to safety. But whether he’ll be able to move past the experience remains to be seen.

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