IDLES, “Kill Them With Kindness”
Laura: Yay! It’s another great IDLES track from their recently released number 1 album, Ultra Mono. “Kill Them With Kindness” begins with the tinkling of piano keys from the brilliant Jamie Cullum. I met Jamie Cullum once. His brother was an acquaintance of mine a lifetime ago. Very nice young men they were too. You would be forgiven for thinking, “what the hell is Jamie Cullum doing on an IDLES track?!” He’s luring into a false sense of sweetness, that’s what he’s doing.
With the video released on Thursday which accompanies the song, the piano makes more sense. It’s all cutesy flowers and a nervous-looking cartoon Working Men’s Club to begin with, until Joe Talbot kicks his boot through the door, bringing Dev’s thwomping bassline and the rest of the band stomping with him. It’s funny how a song can change its personality with a video. Having heard this track several (million) times now, and liking it but not loving it, the video has made me appreciate just how fun it is, what a great track it is to bounce and shake your ass to. The adorable little animated versions of the lads make me love them even more. In fact, I hereby start a petition to have the little fellas made into plush toys. I want to know if Lee has a face under all that hair. I want a Bobo in just in his pants. I want to stroke Dev’s beard. I want to own Jon Beavis (the real one though, not a toy). Just take my money.
The video was directed and designed by James Carbutt and animated by Pip Williamson in a 1930s style, reminiscent of the old Mickey Mouse cartoons and the fabulously kitsch game Cuphead. Carbutt said, “The dingy pub setting in the film is based on the Working Men’s Clubs of my hometown (Barnsley). It was nice to imagine IDLES bursting in and spreading a message of love. During our research we discovered that no two Wetherspoons carpets are the same, they are all unique like snowflakes, so yeah making this film was a wild ride.”
Of course, as with all IDLES songs, there is a not-so-subtle message. This track reminds us to just be nice to people. It’s not hard honestly. In real life, on the internet, everywhere, just be kind. As a very wise man often says, ” If you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. While you’re at it, don’t buy The Sun or the Daily Mail, it’s bad for your mental health. It’s much more effort to hate than it is to love, so get in the Christmas spirit—I know it’s hard this year to feel upbeat about much, but a vaccine is in our line of sight now, we will all be able to go out and play soon, just no shoving in the playground. If anyone shoves you, kill them with kindness.
You can also get this excellent T-shirt adorned with the kindest face alive, to go with this single—it’s amazing in every way. Which reminds me, there are loads of former designs back on sale temporarily. If anyone wants to buy me the cat one for Christmas that would be grand.