Well, this is one if off the cuff. Not necessarily the song-- as we previously noted, Grizzly Bear’s new wavey “Mourning Sound” is a departure from the indie folk of the band’s early days, but relatively straightforward in character and structure. But the song’s music video, which just arrived this morning, is another story entirely.
Naked dude butts frolick, an otherwise all-female cast carry out synchronized routines while various parts of their bodies light up and shoot lasers, the actress who plays Fleur Delacour in Harry Potter stabs a large cake, the naked dude butts are played like bongos, and all of this culminates with the women doing something like a Maypole dance. All of this unfolds on the grounds of an enormous French estate, and all of this is hard to interpret as anything other than extremely strange.
The washed out, surreal clip was directed by Beatrice Pegard, who has a background in fashion and, based on her film resumé, seems to delight in the sort of bizarre dream state depicted in “Mourning Sound.” This is undoubtedly her most high-profile work yet, and because of its eye-catching and confounding qualities, it should lead to more jobs within music for her.
Grizzly Bear’s long-awaited follow-up to 2012’s Shields, entitled Painted Ruins, arrives this Friday, and thus far, we’ve heard four tracks from it. The Radiohead-esque “Three Rings” was the lead single, then came “Mourning Sound, and more recently the band released the elliptical, krautrock-y “Four Cypresses,” and “Neighbors,” a track that’s the closest to the baroque folk stuff that most people associate with the band. That seems like a lot to divulge before release time, but Painted Ruins still has seven more tracks unheard by the public, and it’s anyone’s guess as to whether the more uncharacteristic tracks will define the album or instead be brief interludes between more familiar bursts of GB.
Pre-order Painted Ruins and check out Grizzly Bear’s late fall tour dates on their official website.