Armand Van Helden and A- Trak, better known together as electronic music duo Duck Sauce, continue their triumphant 2020 comeback streak with another single, this one titled “Mesmerize.” Released on October 16th, the song was released alongside a music video that attempted to deconstruct what a music video is or should be.
This new song retains that quirky tone they have been known for since their smash dance single “Barbara Streisand,” which was famously nominated for a Grammy award back in 2010, but with a fresh coat of polish that includes, internet humor and conspiracy. “Mesmerize” is all at once campy and hilariously engaging. Boldface captions walk viewers through nightclub which is entirely curated using stock visuals. Within the confines of this environment, of course Armand and A- Trak perform centerstage as animated characters that look like they were designed using the same engine that was used to make Grand Theft Auto III. A pantheon of meme- able celebrities then arrives, and by the end of the video you might get to see more of their virtual selves then you bargained for. As the video breaches its one minute mark however, things really get meta, as they pull the curtains out from the fictional world they conceived and use screen capture software to record google searches and premiere editing bays that directly correlate to what we’re witnessing in the music video. It all culminates in an educational lecture on the simulation conspiracy led by Duck Sauce themselves. This music video is a treat to say the absolute least and warrants a few watches to fully grasp the intelligent use of every editing technique.
The duo has only erratically made music together for the last decade. Their announcement calling for a worldwide comeback and a performance at Coachella was released the first week of 2020, but plans did not pan out, no thanks to the worldwide pandemic. But their was still jubilation met with their proper return, as they have elated their fans new and old with a handful of singles this year as supplemental content, which began with their first new song in six years, “Smiley Face,” continued with “Captain Duck” and most recently, “I Don’t Mind.”