Sometimes subtlety is the answer and other times you just need to make a blunt, nose-tweaking point. For example, in St. Vincent‘s candy-colored video for the thumping “Los Ageless” from her upcoming Masseduction (Oct. 13) album, the artist born Annie Clark pulls no punches in her commentary on society’s obsession with perfection. Working with director Willo Perron (The xx, Rihanna, Kanye West), the pair create a pop art fantasia that borrows from old cassette commercials, Terry Gilliam movies and reality shows about plastic surgery, all while keeping things (seemingly) cheerful and bright.
Spoiler alert: “Los Ageless” is a dark, disturbing world painted over in bright pinks, yellows, blues and oranges. Like the cynicism-dripping promo videos she produced with Carrie Brownstein in advance of the first taste of “Los Ageless,” the official video has tongue firmly in cheek, even as there’s a slight taste of blood to go with the dead-eyed Valley of the Dolls vibe. After opening with Vincent putting a blue cassette into a blue cassette player, the action shifts to images of the singer sitting in a teal surgical chair with white bandages over her nose while she sports a bandage-like bikini and blue headwrap as two women whose faces are obscure by gauze sit passively in the background.
The camera continually cuts back to a scene in which Vincent is feeding an orange sheet that reads “NO” into a shredder as orange paper bits fill up a purple room while a harsh wind (and a pair of high heel-wearing legs) shoot out of a TV bringing to mind a famous Maxell cassette ad from the 1980s. Other images include writhing plates of sea urchins, nurses pulling elastic skin on the singer’s face à la Gilliam’s Brazil and bored models in pink sitting under hair dryers.
All along, St. Vincent strums one of her signature guitars and sings, “The last days of sunset superstars/ Girls in cages playing their guitars/ But how can I leave?/ I just follow the hood of my car/ In Los Ageless, the waves they never break/ They build and build until you don’t have no escape.” And then, believe it or not, things get truly weird.
Watch the full video below: