[1 April 2009]
PopMatters Interviews Editor
Will someone please stop Patrick Daughters, please?
This man has done nothing but wonders since he appeared on the scene back in 2004. A friend of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, this former film student was brought in to helm the clip for the second single off of the group’s 2003 debut Fever to Tell. The song was “Maps” and the resulting video was as quietly devestating as you would expect for such a fragile number: Karen O, standing on stage during a rehearsal, baring her soul. A simple concept that was executed grandly.
Yet Daughters is very much a “concept” director: he knows that visual medium should be used to excite and entertain, which is perhaps why his overstuffed clip for Feist’s “Mushaboom” appears to have ideas for at least a dozen different videos wrapped up into it. Never once are his videos boring: his style is akin to that of a young Spike Jonze, wherein a clever concept can carry an entire video instead of just being nothing more than a simple sight gag. When not putting Beck in front of giant studio sets or putting Feist (again) in a field of fireworks, he’s orchestrating ... war ballets?
His clip for the Department of Eagles’ “No One Does it Like You” is both simple an haunting, as dancers take the form of soldiers and ghosts, lightly swaying and sashaying as death surrounds them. The cutesy-aspect of this clip is cut short during its final moments, when the dancer-soldiers are shot with real guns, with real (fake) blood pouring out of them, both sides uniting in heaven. The sharp violence immediately counterbalances the simplistic costumes (the ghost is a white sheet, for pete’s sake!), and—yes—the very well-choreographed dancing. Yet the best part? The visual element actually enhances the song’s emotional content.
So, let’s raise our drinks again to Patrick Daughters: the man to soon usurp Michel Gondry’s throne.
Department of Eagles - No One Does It Like You