Taking full advantage of a green screen’s endless possibilities, the band takes us through a journey through time and space to explore emotions that are anything but alien
As humans, we don’t know what to do with the unknown. When faced with the unexplainable, we can’t help but search for an explanation. To try and find meaning in the mystery. To hypothesize, theorize, rationalize—often, in the process, drawing conclusions that are anything but rational.
Despite its advances and conveniences, modern life hasn’t found us more enlightened or more satisfied. While science has presented us with plenty of answers, so much is still left unknown, and while technology has provided us with solutions, it’s also introduced more problems. We’re more connected, but more lonely; we have more options, and we’re less satisfied. While things are easier, they’re also more complicated, and while many ways, the world is getting better (believe it or not), we’re now constantly, instantly more aware of every single thing that is going wrong. And whether it’s these particular times or simply a persistent and consistent part of the human condition, it still feels personal, leaving us feeling at best confused, at worst cynical, and either way, often more than a little lost. But as time moves on, while the world might look different, our situations might change, and the evidence we base our beliefs on—or conspiracies we cling to—might evolve, there is one constant: the very human need to examine our circumstances, explore our emotions and express ourselves via art.
That brings me to “Crop Circles”—the new single from NYC bad Nautics. With this song, the band wrote under the Instagram post announcing its release, they are “channeling what we love about indie rock, UFO videos, and M Night Shyamalan.” Or, as they told me over email:
“‘Crop Circles’ explores the feeling of confusion, feeling lost in modern life, and love being a conspiracy. We hope everyone can relate to the fantastical themes through a grounded lens.”
The song itself dropped on Tuesday (the band celebrated with a show last night at Berlin), and two days after the release, I’m thrilled to premiere the video, which does right by the song’s def-Tom-DeLonge-approved themes, starting off on a subway platform before taking the viewer on a virtual visual journey through farms, sky and space featuring UFOs, dancing aliens, pulsing organs and amoebas and just the right number of explosions. Which all work together to illustrate a song that is far less silly or sci-fi than that makes it sound.
While absolutely ridiculous (and surely intentionally so), the video works—first, because the song is a perfect, extremely catchy indie banger; and second, because it’s made with love. The fun comes through, and by striking the perfect balance of absurd and sincere, it serves as evidence of a group that takes their music seriously, without taking themselves seriously.
“The ‘Crop Circles’ music video was a sort of spontaneous art project,” the band said of the project. “We had our phone cameras and access to a green screen. We treated it like how we write our songs with little intention and a lot of passion.”
Nautics has more singles coming soon. Stay tuned for new music—and, if we’re lucky, some accompanying green-screen action.
Feature image (provided by the band): Carina