Spike Jonze is arguably the greatest music video director of all time, but he’s mostly retired from the art form. But he just made a quick exception for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs leader Karen O, who just released her debut solo album Crush Songs, an album of quiet acoustic home recordings. The video for the album track “Ooo” is strictly an impromptu affair for Jonze — recorded on the spur of the moment, and possibly without Karen knowing about it, while Jonze and the actress Elle Fanning were preparing to stage a one-act play at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House as part of Fashion Week. The video is just Fanning dancing and mugging across the stage and the backstage area at the Met, and yet it is still somehow unmistakeably a Spike Jonze video. Watch it and read some words from Jonze below.
On Sunday we made a one-act play for my friend Humberto’s company, Opening Ceremony. The idea was to do a play instead of a regular fashion show during Fashion Week, and, miraculously, we were able to do it at the New York Metropolitan Opera House. (Thank you, Peter Gelb and everyone at the Met!) Also, this week my dear friend Karen is putting out her first solo album of precious, personal love and heartache gems titled Crush Songs. They are songs made so intimately and spontaneously alone in her bedroom a few years ago that they feel more like unguarded whispers from her heart than a traditionally produced album. So on Sunday, during a ten-minute break as we were rehearsing and lighting at the Met, we made a very impromptu “music video” for Karen in the spirit of her album. It just seemed like if you have the Opera House, that song, and Elle Fanning together, you shouldn’t let the opportunity go by. So we made this as a surprise gift for Karen to congratulate her on her album. She is going to see this for the first time as you do. I hope you enjoy.
Crush Songs is out now on Cult.