There's pop, and then there's pop about pop. Despite being a decidedly psychedelic band, Frankie and the Witch Fingers' latest video asserts itself squarely in the latter category with its glimmering, mod-inspired aesthetic and contrastingly dark subject matter.
"Merry Go Round" is a catchy, flower-power psych track, but the video opens with a murder. Standing over the dead body is a baseball bat-wielding woman clad in a white dress and glittery makeup, splattered with blood. She places the needle on an ivory record, and as the music kicks in she begins to dance.
The visuals throughout are, frankly, striking. Bright colors, contrasting textures, and a creative use of melting distortions make it hard to look away, and the eerie, homicidal motif adds an air of suspense; you can't shake the sense that further violence is imminent.
It's a clever play on the visual language of bubblegum pop. Combined with a series of off-putting scenes of the band members lustily embracing the killer, her eyes glazed over and a vacuous smile on her face, it brings to mind the objectification that so often defines the genre. Scoring these images with psych-rock (and excellent psych-rock, at that) seems to be an artful way to subvert that structure.
Frankie and the Witch Fingers are about to set out on a West Coast tour, so be sure to catch them when they come through your city.
3/22 San Francisco, CA - Amnesia
3/23 Boise, ID - Treefort Music Fest
3/24 Boise, ID - Treefort Music Fest
3/25 Portland, OR - The Know
3/26 Seattle, WA - The Void
3/28 Nevada City, CA - National Hotel
3/29 Oakland, CA - The Golden Bull
3/30 Davis, CA - Third Space Art Collective
3/31 Santa Ana, CA - Diego's
4/2 Los Angeles, CA - BlindSpot Project