There are a lot of videos coming out of Austin these days, so we’ve decided to make life easier for you by compiling some of the most notable into a recurring feature called Out of Focus.
Ghostbunny- “Static Love”
There is no real reason for me to have thought this, but I assumed Ghostbunny’s new video for “Static Love” was going to go down a “Rabbit in Your Headlights” route and all that glitchy dancing was going to result in some unfortunate traffic accidents or at least a mugging. I guess the joke is on me for thinking such bleak thoughts and wishing horrors on the honestly very nice Nick Hanson, i.e. the Ghostbunny frontman in a hoodie getting robotically funky in the clip. The other joke is that “Static Love” is, well, static. It’s a series of medium shots featuring Hanson dancing about town, with director Dalton Campbell generating tension through some David Fincher-esque framing and color correction. Really, gang, I appreciate the fake out but you could have thrown me a bone and had Nick slip in the car wash or something.
Magna Carda- “Banger Jones”
Brutal simplicity can be stylish as all fuck. That’s the lesson to be learned from Magna Carda’s “Banger Jones” video, created for them by Nova Wolf Productions, who make their intentions clear from the get go with a title card that looks like a Barbara Kruger homage. The track itself is a merger of Cool Kids’ minimalism and Spank Rock’s buzzy insistence and the video similarly mashes up styles, a drop of ’90s LL Cool J here, a dollop of early Spike Lee rawness there, all grimy black and white and shadowy scenery. Just as the track “Banger Jones” hints at a darker, more mature future for Magna Carda, the video elevates their visual game, cutting out some of the goofiness of their togetherness to present the group as shadow operators looking for the right moment to leap out of the corners and really make their presence known.
Hundred Visions- “Our Ritual”
I’m not a morning person but I don’t think I’ve ever failed at getting ready for the day as spectacularly as Max Juren does in Hundred Visions‘ “Our Ritual” short. Mockingly presented as a dairy council PSA, “Our Ritual” has the excitable Juren rising from slumber and immediately throwing himself into a series of inept morning rituals, ranging from tooth paste facials to some Rube Goldbergian breakfast shenanigans. The house dog seems as confused and befuddled by these events as any viewer is likely to be, but it’s a fun video that communicates the complex slackness of the band’s music fairly well.
This Will Destroy You- “New Topia”
You’d think more post-rock groups would be adept at providing lush visuals to go along with their music. But too many of them just coast by on stock footage and bland video pastorals. This Will Destroy You are not most post-rock groups, though, as evidenced by the [adult swim]-approved “New Topia,” a video that looks like a lost artifact of ’70s French animation. Though it lacks the narrative of, say, Fantastic Planet, “New Topia” is nonetheless striking in its imagery and the synchronization of its iconography with the band’s swelling grandeur. The result is an experience that is emotional and artful, guiding you through sensory immersion without forcing you to take one path or another.
Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics. You can also flip through his archives at Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover