A few weeks ago, The New Pornographers‘ released a comical take on Hollywood in their music video for “War on the East Coast.” Now, with their second single, “Dancehall Domine,” The New Pornographers’ are back in the video industry, minus the explosions and shades. Scott Cudmore, the director of Lucius, METZ, and F—ed Up music videos, gives a wonderful eye that encapsulates the qualities that uniquely define The New Pornographers and their new direction. Their new album, Brill Bruisers, is a new age take on the style of the 60’s set to groovy tunes and some of the purest pop-rock choruses in years. The New Pornographers are the kings and queens of the pop-rock world and this visionary joy proves that.
The music video opens up with five attractive men, choppily singing along with the song’s “oo-ah-ah-oo-ah-ah-ah” background vocals. The men are all cloaked in some type of priesthood-garb. (I’m not religious, but I would attend that church). The next shot is of a film slate, which appears very frequently throughout the video, making it clear that this is a representation of video-making customs. From the start, the whole video is obviously set in a TV studio, and everything that happens after is pure Oscar-worthy gold.
Between a false director with an ole’ smoking pipe, a woman with tear-smeared mascara, or a silhouetted kiss with a woman grabbing onto some man’s tie, this video is riddled with homages to classic cinema clichés. In fact, there isn’t a moment in this video that isn’t a highly entertaining reference to video making itself. Did I mention the ballerinas, the passionate couple riding off into the sunset, or the literal backstabbing?
In a music video world that is oddly obsessed with twerking and large rear ends to garner viewers, it’s refreshing to see a uniquely charming video that feels easy and freeing. What makes this video oddly perfect is its careful detail to lighting. With beautiful pastel pinks and blues, to retro black-and-whites, and even a 3-D sequence, Cudmore directs a fully envisioned and wildly bizarre video that is as addicting as the song it brings to life.