Skronky Dublin noise-punks Girl Band make visceral, assaultive music, music that crawls under your skin and then brutally bashes its way back out. The Band To Watch alums have worked unnerving magic with director Bob Gallagher before, and they continue to unsettle in the new video for “Paul,” the first song to be released from their upcoming debut full-length Holding Hands With Jamie. The clip, which premiered at NPR, follows a depressed, dead-eyed man who plays a costumed animal character on a children’s TV show. Gallagher explains:
While I was researching I watched a documentary about Big Bird and there’s a line where Caroll Spinney says that a woman was complimenting his performance but that she couldn’t see that inside the costume he was crying. It’s quite tragic. I think everyone has experiences of having to put on an outward expression and feeling trapped, so Paul’s costume is a visual extension of that. He’s inside the suit, at a distance from everybody around him, but wearing this absurd smile that’s totally false to what’s going on inside.
Gallagher and the band seem to take a perverse pleasure in upending the cheeriness of the setting — the video and song function as a pressure cooker, pounding drums and queasy bass circling insistently until the mounting anxiety explodes out into its inevitable violent conclusion. Watch below, and keep an eye out for cameo appearances from every member of the band.
Holding Hands With Jamie is out 9/25 on Rough Trade.