It’s a rare sort of music video that can win a band a BTW, which makes TEEN’s exquisite clip for “Electric” a definitionally rare sort of video. To be clear, the band earned their hails last week on the back of a pair of eminently postable singles — i.e. “Better,” and the object of this post, the fantastic go-go psych pop of “Electric” — as well as an assured debut LP in In Limbo. But I saw a screening for the “Electric” video before hearing any of that, and was won over: from its smart psychedelic cinematographic tricks to its conceptual choreography, the video serves as a synergistic sound/visual mesh that’s a perfect portal to TEEN’s overarching aesthetic. It also speaks a lot to a band’s creative process when they know who to collaborate with to actualize a vision, as TEEN has here with directors Sam Fleischner (the filmmaker behind Norah Jones’s feature-length Wah Do Dem and Santigold’s “Disparate Youth“) and dance performance/dance artist Megha Barnabas. From Moire effects to Maya Deren movements, this is a proper pairing of imagery and physicality and you should watch:
In Limbo is out via Carpark.
Here’s Fleischner and Barnabas on the treatment:
Some ideas that nurtured this video were sisterhood, modern-day ritual, and stage magic. We were interested in the idea of forced initiation – something that would allow for entrance into another “Electric” realm. We were also seeing movement as a process or a form of communication rather than something celebratory. As Teeny, the lead singer, put it when we were first hashing out concepts, “this is not a happy song – it is about death and people kicking you when you are down.” The video is about strength in the face of that – a combination of fuck off and flower power – having a sense of humor and playfulness when things get ugly.
Aesthetically, we chose to embrace Moire effects, which are usually something you try to avoid with new HD cameras. Stylist, Angela Barrow found fabrics that moire on their own to the human eye, and crafted all the uniforms for the band. The creative company m ss ng p eces, who are big fans of TEEN, stepped up and really supported the production. Then the final touch came from Carolyn Frisch who took the footage and embedded it into a world of its own dimension. We love TEEN’s new album – it was a joy putting images to their sound and we can’t wait for the rest of the world to hear them!
And here’s Sam’s Quicksilvered treatment for TEEN’s first In Limbo single, “Better”: