When time came for New Zealand avante-pop performer, Eden Mulholland, to make a video for his latest track "Lego Ships", his idea was simple enough: "I wanted it to be as groovy and weird as possible, like some strange '80's hip-hop dance party with a mini tramp, on LSD."
Taking on his own trippy, albeit broad, brief, the Mulholland-directed video — exclusively premiering via Rolling Stone Australia — takes the seemingly straight-forward visual of sweaty dancers body-morphing in an unidentified strobe-lit space, spinning the common concept with slow-motion jitters, patterned projections and triangular infinite zooms.
"This video is all an improvisation", Mulholland explains, adding that "the choreography didn't need to be set to counts, I knew I'd be messing with it considerably in the edit. I found a wicked software plug in that warps the footage speed, making it all jerky and stuttered."
Similarly, the song itself — with the consistent, cowbell-assisted loop — is entrenched on the pop end of the music spectrum, yet is skewed from that safe spot via violent injections of synth sparks, as well as Mulholland's own subdued self-analysis: "maybe I could try and change, even though everything will just go back to the way it was."
"Lego Ships" was recorded in L.A. with producer Neil Baldock, amidst a Joshua Tree trek of self-discovery ("we drove out to the desert to drink beer in alien costumes, gambled at a casino, rode bikes around Santa Monica in search of tequila") and is Mulholland's first new music since 2015's "strange and wonderful", Hunted Haunted. He has stayed busy between releases, however, adding a series of live performance collaborations to his expanding resume, including The Cry — a dance piece at Perth's State Theatre, which "explores the highs and lows of human existence" — and Rushes, a partnership with visual artist Rowan Pierce for the Auckland Fringe Festival.
"Lego Ships" kicks off what is set to be a busy 2017 for the NZ-based artist, with plans in the works to a song everyday in June, including a mix of previously recorded demos and unreleased new music.
Topics: Eden Mulholland