Cody Critcheloe is the longtime mastermind between the skewed, idiosyncratic Kansas City DIY pop project SSION. In more recent years, he’s also become one of the greatest, most visionary video directors working. SSION videos always feel like events, and so it’s awesome to see that he’s got a new one out today. This spring, SSION will return from a years-long absence with a new album called O. And after the dazzling video for first single “Comeback,” Critcheloe’s got a new one for the sprawling, woozy synthpop hymn “At Least The Sky Is Blue.”
“At Least The Sky Is Blue” is a duet with Critcheloe’s fellow warped-pop mastermind Ariel Pink, who, depending on who you ask, should be as popular as Ed Sheeran. I have trouble imagining a world where that could happen, but I can say that the “At Least The Sky Is Blue” video is a whole lot better than any Ed Sheeran videos I’ve seen. And a big part of that is Pink, who appears throughout as a ghostly vision of Elizabeth Taylor.
In the self-directed clip, Critcheloe wanders through a Hollywood mansion, accepts substances from glamorous people, dreams of a Grammy, and works out at a gym full of extremely buff shirtless men. Late in the song, when the song transforms into a slightly-altered cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My,” Critcheloe transforms into a Liza Minelli impersonator, sharing the stage with Pink’s Taylor. It’s really something. Watch it below.
O is out 5/11 on Dero Arcade.