Destroyer – “Crimson Tide” Video

Ken you believe it’s been two years since the last Destroyer album? Actually, it feels like we’ve gone far longer since hearing from Daniel Bejar, but fortunately that silence is ending today. He’s returned to announce a new Destroyer album called Have We Met and share its lead single.

A press release indicates Have We Met is partially inspired by ’80s movies like White Nights and Pretty In Pink, and I could definitely hear “Crimson Tide” fitting in on such a soundtrack. It’s one of the danciest songs in the Destroyer catalog, one that pairs Bejar’s drowsy musings with driving, shimmering new wave production that presumably lends itself to remixes but sounds mighty good as is. How’s this for an iconic Bejar opening line: “I was like the laziest river/ A vulture predisposed to eating off floors/ No wait, I take that back, I was more like an ocean/ Stuck inside hospital corridors.”

The “Crimson Tide” video is designed to evoke the movie-soundtrack tie-in music video, pairing images of Bejar grooving in his disheveled suit and mad-professor hair with clips from David Biddle and David Ehrenreich’s art-house short film Ashcroft. David Galloway, who co-directed the clip with Ehrenreich, explains:

Do you like the 1985 politico-dance-thriller White Nights? What about John Hughes’ controversial 1986 proleteeniat love letter to the hoi polloi, Pretty In Pink? What do these seminal films of the 1980s have to do with Destroyer’s overture to 2020, Have We Met? They are canonized not only by their groundbreaking and visionary contributions to Hollywood, they are escorted by the rarefied but much-maligned “movie tie-in music video.” So this is like that, only a little bit different. I don’t know if this particular movie is a “movie” in the traditional sense of the trope, and I don’t know if there will be a soundtrack. There might be a bootleg mix-tape, though.

That movie is Ashcroft: an ambiguous short, an art-house film that explores time, memory, fruit, the landscape of the British Columbia interior, and recovery from — and into — deception. “Ashcroft is not a place of passive rest, but rather an intoxicating playground for excavation and manipulation” is a quote from the filmmakers’ press release. Movies need songs [kind of] and songs need movies [videos?]. This is a music video about a movie, or for a movie, or really just with a movie. The point is: they love each other. With “Crimson Tide,” Destroyer introduces listeners to yet another version of the Bejar Enigma, and ushers viewers to seats in an alternate cinematic universe. The dramatic music video that ties in to film is a lost art. Or maybe it’s just a vulgar one. Either way, there’s no rotten tomatoes here. Only rotten apples.

Watch the “Crimson Tide” video, which sadly does not feature Nick Saban, below.

01 “Crimson Tide”
02 “Kinda Dark”
03 “It Just Doesn’t Happen”
04 “The Television Music Supervisor”
05 “The Raven”
06 “Cue Synthesizer”
07 “University Hill”
08 “Have We Met”
09 “The Man In Black’s Blues”
10 “foolssong”

02/21 Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater*
02/22 San Francisco, CA @ August Hall*
02/23 Los Angeles, CA @ Regent Theater*
02/24 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress*
02/26 Austin, TX @ The Mohawk*
02/27 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada*
02/28 Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater*
02/29 St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club*
03/01 Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall*
03/02 Detroit, MI @ Deluxx Fluxx*
03/04 Toronto, ON @ Opera House**
03/05 Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount**
03/06 Boston, MA @ The Sinclair**
03/07 New York, NY @ Brooklyn Steel**
03/08 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts**
03/09 Washington, DC @ Black Cat**
03/11 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle**
03/12 Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West**
03/13 Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge**
03/14 St. Louis, MO @ Blueberry Hill**
03/15 Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room**
03/16 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater**
03/17 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge**
03/19 Seattle, WA @ Neumos**
03/20 Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre**

*w/Eleanor Freidbeger
** w/Nap Eyes

Have We Met is out 1/31 on Merge. Pre-order it here.

CREDIT: Ted Bois