Bristol-based post-punk band Idles have released a new single called “Model Village” along with a cutout animation music video. In the video many little blue sweater-wearing pink people run around a fictional village. The storyline loosely follows the lyrics, but the animation adds an extra dimension of creativity on top of Idles frontman Joe Talbot’s ideas.
The video was directed by Michel Gondry with the help of his brother Olivier. Michel Gondry has worked on many famous music videos including “Star Guitar” by The Chemical Brothers, “Around the World” by Daft Punk, “Fell in Love with a Girl” and “Hardest Button to Button” by The White Stripes, “No One Knows” by Queens of the Stone Age, “Knives Out” by Radiohead, “Come Into My World” by Kylie Minogue, “Everlong” by Foo Fighters and several Bjork videos including “Hyperballad.”
Asides from elaborate music videos, Michel Gondry has directed several feature films, including Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). Gondry has also worked on several successful ad campaigns for Levi’s, HP and Burger King among other companies.
The production company in charge of this Idles music video gave some more background on its creation. It was always a dream of Talbot’s to work with Michel Gondry. Talbot has been seeing lockdown as an opportunity for cool DIY videos rather than an obstruction. The videos for “A Hymn” and “Grounds” use cars driving around a city to tell their messages. Both of these songs are singles from Idles’ upcoming album Ultra Mono, which is due September 25 via Partisan. Lead single “Mr. Motivator” used home workout footage as its DIY video idea. Idles also recently showed up on a collaboration with The Streets, a rap song called “None of Us Are Getting Out of this Life Alive.”
“Model Village” is another high-energy track, with the shouted chorus “I beg your pardon/I don’t care about your rose garden/I’ve listened to the things you said/You just sound like you’re scared to death.” The rhythm section isn’t unusual for post-punk but the guitar takes as much of a lead as Talbot’s vocals. Talbot always sings to make a point, and in this he’s saying “I hated growing up in a city that was really a town that was really a fishbowl. I left as soon as I could, only to realize the fishbowl didn’t exist…just the fish, and they’re everywhere.”
Photo credit: Kalyn Oyler