It’s gotta be tough to follow up a straight-up masterpiece like Destroyer’s 2011’s album Kaputt, but with the badass Springsteen-esque rocker “Dream Lover,” Dan Bejar made a strong case that he’s up to the challenge. Now he’s further cemented Poison Season’s status as a worthy successor with the very different but very gorgeous piano- and string-led (and flute-assisted) ballad “Girl In A Sling.” Director David Galloway matches Bejar’s lyrically oblique doomed romanticism with a video that casts Bejar as a vaguely Bernd and Hilla Becher-esque photographer, mining a surprising emotional resonance from the dull red glow of the darkroom and some striking and deeply sad shots of abandoned houses. This is what the director has to say about the video:
Bejar sings a lot about cities and girls and injury, sometimes all at the same time. Sometimes they are the same thing, as surreal novelists would have us believe. Besides, people like to see Dan sing — which he doesn’t do a lot of in this video, but he does do a little bit. We wanted to make a video that dealt with central Destroyer themes: to some, Destroyer is a lech; to some, he is an arsonist; to some, he is a savior. To me, he is the consummate comedian, but he resists that role. So we decided to go the opposite way and make something sad, something tragic, something that fits the new record. The adage “comedy equals tragedy plus time” is attributed to Carol Burnett’s mum. Or it might have been Steve Allen. Either way, I always want Dan to do physical comedy, but he resists. He’s a natural, though. He’s the Pacific Northwest’s Buster Keaton, and I hope one day to share that with the world. One day. For now, though, there’s just this sadness. This poison season.
Poison Season is out 8/28 via Merge/Dead Oceans. Preorder the record here.