IDLES are back with yet another storming track from their forthcoming album Ultra Mono, which is going to arrive on September 25th and collectively kick our arses. We have been spoiled by the boys from Bristol throughout lockdown with four singles in four months, and we still have two more to go. “Reigns” is released on September 8th and “War” will be released along with the album. But let’s talk about “Model Village”, shall we?
Wow. Just wow! When you thought the band couldn’t swagger any harder, they do just that. Frontman Joe Talbot sarcastically catalogues some of the features found in a rich “model village,” including low crime rates, expensive cars, and dim-witted nationalism. “I beg your pardon/ I don’t care about your rose garden/ I’ve listened to the things you said/ You just sound like you’re scared to death,” he taunts during the hook.
IDLES have perfected their sound. Every track from Ultra Mono thus far has solidified their intentions and the band are something totally unique. They sound like IDLES, no-one else.
While the majority of the videos released so far from the new album have been made by the band themselves or, in the case of “Mr Motivator”, fans working out in their own homes, the video to “Model Village” is something very different. Michel Gondry (The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Kidding) and his brother Olivier have created a two-dimensional world (which is fitting) to portray this hypocritical town. It is colourful, manic, filled with two-dimensional figures with pigs heads running through fields of pills, freaks burning money and some really kooky architecture that looks like a children’s pop-up book come to life.
The song is really about the dangerous small-mindedness born out of villages which can sometimes act as breeding grounds for far right politics. The lyrics paint a very strong visual picture of the kinds of characters you’d find in this kind of village. Michel latched on to one line: “There’s a lot of pink skin in the village” and decided to run with it, making all the villagers into pigs. “Basically in the first part,” Michel explains, “we try to illustrate the lyrics as close as possible, to create the world, and then in the second half…they go to the moon.” The collages made by Michel on a flat surface were then transformed by Olivier into a moving, 3D village using an effect which makes us feel like we’re hovering over the town in a helicopter. Michel says this effect feels like looking through a snorkelling mask underwater: some parts of your vision blurred, and some in a heightened state of clarity. Olivier finds it funny that Michel sees this complicated CGI technique as “underwater” – he understands what he means, and also that few others would have made that comparison. “That’s his way to express it,” he says, smiling. — From WeTransfer.com, interview with Joe Talbot and Michel Gondry about the making of the video.
Watch the video in all its glory below, and download the single now on Partisan Records and Mother Artist Management. It’s going to get stuck in your head for days, this one. And if you love IDLES and their message, join the AFGANG, their wonderful fan group where All Is Love.