June 8, 2007
Greetings my fellow indie rock stalwarts! It’s Andy Gesner and the staff from HIP Video Promo back with another clip from 2007’s most exciting artist. If you’ve been with HIP from the beginning, you’ve been sent three terrific videos from Bloc Party: one for “Banquet”, another for “Helicopters”, and a third for the lead U.S. single from A Weekend In The City, “I Still Remember”. The three clips introduced viewers to some seriously altered states – the “Banquet” video introduced the group with a trippy, restless camera effect, “Helicopter” was an animated phantasmagoria, and “I Still Remember” used a passenger train as a visual metaphor for the impermanence of memory. The message is clear: sure, Bloc Party makes you want to dance, but theirs is head music too, thoughtful, multidimensional, and often subtly mind-expanding. And as Kele Okereke’s writing has become more sophisticated and emotionally nuanced, directors have paired his songs with images that reflect that development.
Walter Stern’s (David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Spiritualized, Massive Attack) clip for “The Prayer” continues that growth. Superficially, it’s the story of an evening out: a typical evening spent clubbing among a set of stylish twentysomethings. The camera finds the four members of Bloc Party relaxing on sofas in a London night spot; around them, other young men and women take to the dance floor, but they’re reticent, watching the interaction from easy chairs. Their expressions are uneasy and their postures are slightly defensive – it’s not that they don’t belong or that they don’t appreciate the comely dancers, it’s that they’re guarded, cautious, uncomfortable with ostentatious displays of sexuality, worried about getting burned.
No surprise, then, when the room begins to distort: it’s a visual expression of the emotional state of Okereke
and his bandmates. It begins with a couple of clubgoers of indeterminate gender, making out on a sofa. It all looks normal, and maybe a bit destabilizing in its boldness – until the very space around the lovers folds in on itself, and it appears that one has eaten the face of the other. From there, the hallucinations only intensify: a huge eye opens on a sofa, the face of a man at the bar stretches grotesquely and dangles over his drink, a dancing girl ripples and tears apart as if her body were a velvet curtain. Cigarette burns eat holes in the center of the frames, and flames tunnel their way through the images. Through it all, the members of Bloc Party sit unfazed and unmoved, attempting to remain cool as the world warps around them, and the dancers on the floor shoot out sparks.
Ironic, then, that the song itself – which peaked at #4 on the U.K. charts earlier this year – is a wild wish for dance-floor abandon and sexual confidence. “Lord, give me grace and dancing feet/ let me outshine the moon”, begs Okerele, working up the courage to take on the nightclub on its own terms. With its gigantic beat and its insistent riffs, it’s a departure for Bloc Party – at once the most club-friendly track they’ve ever recorded and something utterly unlike anything else on contemporary radio. “The Prayer” is an early highlight of A Weekend In The City, and a song destined to further the quartet’s claim to be America’s favorite British rock band.
We are incredibly excited to be bringing you this newest Bloc Party video from their dynamic sophomore effort, A Weekend In The City. Adam Shore, Jamie Farkas, and Christopher Roberts from Vice Records have been kind enough to hook us up with plenty of copies for on-air giveaways, so give us a shout if you’d like to get your hands on them. Also, Bloc Party will be touring the US beginning at the end of May and this time around, we hope that you will be help us plug this tour whenever possible so we can show them the power of our music video programmers! Please let us know if you’re interested and we will do our best to make it happen! If you need more info, call Andy Gesner at 732-613-1779 or e-mail us at info@HIPVideoPromo.com.
For info about Bloc Party’s “Banquet” video, click HERE
For info about Bloc Party’s “Helicopter” video, click HERE
For info about Bloc Party’s “I Still Remember” video, click HERE