Brooklyn-based experimental rock group Yeasayer has a flair for eye-catching and avant-garde music videos, such as the glam-rock inspired “O.N.E.” (directed by Creators Radical Friend) and the creepy (but cute!) “Madder Red” by Andreas Nilsson.
A few days ago Yeasayer released yet another stunning audiovisual treat for “Henrietta,” the first track off their upcoming album Fragrant World, directed by one of our favorite psychedelic-leaning artists, Yoshi Sodeoka. We previously screened Sodeoka’s prog rock-inspired films at The Creators Project: Paris 2011 and have been chronicling the unveiling of new installments here on the blog.
“Henrietta” features a colorful, kaleidoscopic sequence that undulates to a New Wave-inspired bassline. As the mood shifts halfway through the song, the glitchy visuals are replaced with a serene, fuschia-saturated ocean, a ribbon of white particles, and pulsating circular rainbows. We chatted with Sodeoka to get the scoop behind his creative process for “Henrietta.”
The Creators Project: Yeasayer often works with artistic and avant-garde directors, such as Radical Friend and Andreas Nilsson, to create their music videos. How did your collaboration with Yeasayer come about?
Yoshi Sodeoka: I got an email from the Yeasayer guys earlier this year to see if I wanted to collaborate with them on videos for their new album. As soon as I realized that they approached me knowing that I’m a video artist, I became really interested. So I met with the band, and we came up with idea of doing something a little different from conventional music videos. We were both on the same page as far as wanting to make videos that are more abstract and symbolic. “Henrietta” is just the beginning of our collaboration. There will be many more things I will be doing with them in the very near future actually.
Besides the song itself, what were you inspired by in creating “Henrietta”? Were you inspired by any of Yesayer’s previous music videos?
To be very honest, I had never seen their music videos others than “Madder Red”! I stopped watching new music videos in general a while ago for no particular reason. I still watch a lot of old videos of Slayer, King Crimson, and things like that on YouTube. But, I was familiar with Yeasayer’s music, and I have been noticing their art direction on posters and album art for quite some time. I have been a fan of those.
How did Yeasayer contribute to your creative process for “Henrietta”?
They were familiar with my work already. So I was given 100% total creative freedom. I really appreciated that.
How did you acquire and edit the footage in the video? Specifically, what kind of hardware and software did you use?
The source footage (if you can tell) is from a jungle and a beach of Tanna Island that my friend David Guinan shot while he was filming his documentary. Then I totally manipulated and added some animation elements on top of it in After Effects to make everything look abstract and psychedelic.
Since you often compose your own music for your video work, did you find your collaboration with Yeasayer to be significantly different in terms of process?
The process was definitely different but in a very good way. It helps especially when I can work with music that I actually like. I was blown away by the quality of their new album. So, I enjoyed working on it.
Yeasayer’s Fragrant World will be released on August 21st.