All the fun, and an effortlessly cool aesthetic, without getting bogged down with too much narrative and substance.
The video for MØ’s previous track, ‘Lean On’, invited a lot of attention: and not all of it good. As the three white people in the video take Mumbai, in what they referred to as a celebration of Indian culture, dance, and energy, critics words were rife with cultural appropriation and exploitation. MØ returns in the video for ‘Kamikaze’, clad at one point in false dreadlocks, and another in a headdress, with the video described as her ‘taking’ Kiev, so this video could be open to criticism too. But what lies at the heart of her new video is fun. It doesn’t have a lot of substance, but it bubbles with energy and excitement with an aesthetic that keeps you wanting more.
Opening at the end, MØ flickers into vision, illuminated by strobe lights as the track begins. A stark contrast finds us greeted with a guy sitting on top of a car with a mask on, in front of a fire. There are lots of fires in the video, each one as unexplained as the next. Are the fires for fun? Do they represent the destruction of today’s youth? (Probably more likely.) On the other hand, it just makes for a cool backdrop. Each outfit of the young troop is selected with precision to emanate the video’s cool aesthetic, with MØ flitting between white and black as the video progresses. The people at the heart of the video spend a lot of time riding on a sofa that sits on top of a car, singing and dancing to the camera. And why not?
Set against a dusty and desolate backdrop of Kiev, it’s MØ’s troop who breathe life into the shots. Drinking, dancing, fighting, a gold chair made out of tyres, and a finale at an underground rave: this video makes appealing a combination of things that you probably shouldn’t do. It creates a utopia of fun, despite its dreary setting. “Take me to the party” is essentially all the video strives towards, ending darkly at a party that is juxtaposed with lighter scenes and fire from earlier in the shots. Its finale blurs the lines between dancing and fighting, which leaves an uncomfortable taint on the fun of the video. It’s probably that youth destruction trope again.
Oozing an effortlessly cool aesthetic and teasing us with the fun that we aren’t having, Truman and Cooper’s video is a captivating watch. Yes, it lacks substance: but sometimes the removal of a narrative allows us to focus on the fun that might otherwise slip away.
Watch the video for ‘Kamikaze’ below, with the track available to buy now.