Neon Indian's Alan Palomo hasn't had a Deadbeat Summer. For starters, his much-anticipated sophomore album Era Extraña (written and recorded last winter in a small apartment in Helsinki, Finland) came out this fall, along with the video for "Polish Girl," directed by widely-respected self-made director Tim Nackashi.
Specializing in integrating techniques like stop-motion, projection mapping, and panoramic technology into his videos, Nackashi has worked with artists like TV On The Radio, OK Go, and Death Cab For Cutie. We paired him up with Neon Indian to conceive a unique narrative for the classic cyber-punk jam. “When I first heard 'Polish Girl,' it immediately called to mind images of someone traveling through their own thoughts and memories as if they were floating in some kind of physical, digital space,” says Nackashi, “or of someone trying to reach out through screens and across wires to be close with someone else. I started thinking about how new ideas for light-painting techniques with a tablet might be an essential part of the storyline for this song. Maybe someone is drawing in the air with the data and memories of someone they admire because it is all they will ever have.” The mood of the song transpires through a lonely humanoid, who spends his days scanning people's bodies and thoughts, obsessed with a woman he fell in love with "at first scan." Paired with Palomo's sparkly synths and critically acclaimed electronic formula, the video breeds an endless digital daydream in which the humanoid's desensitized and disconnected life is placed in stark contrast with the vivid 3D renderings of his love interest's feminine facade. “We used a ton of in-camera and post-effects to make this video happen,” says Nackashi. “In post, we built 3D models of the girl, which were used to create the light-painting effects, and also super-imposed onto the girl when she is being scanned.” The result is a dystopian yet stylish reflection on the present, viewed through the rose-tinted lens of visions of the future as imagined by 70s and 80s cinema. Check out our exclusive making-of above.