Animal Farm: In honor of Halloween, let’s revisit a pleasant video from noise punk group Girl Band.
Girl Band’s videos are almost always incendiary, so disturbing images from a fake kids’ TV show is business as usual for them.
Director Bob Gallagher talked about his inspiration for Girl Band’s video for “Paul,” and it involves Big Bird:
While I was researching I watched a documentary about Big Bird and there’s a line in where Carol Spinney says that a woman was complimenting his performance but that she couldn’t see that inside the costume he was crying. It’s quite tragic. I think everyone has experiences of having to put on an outward expression, and feeling trapped, so Paul’s costume is a visual extension of that. He’s inside the suit, at a distance from everybody around him, but wearing this absurd smile that’s totally false to what’s going on inside.
If the video is meant to illustrate how people’s hidden thoughts are closer than we think, then Gallagher was successful. “Paul,” in the girl-pig suit in the video, manages a smile at co-workers, but in the dressing room he looks morbid. Seeing his eyes through the pig’s nostril is just creepy on so many levels. Just be glad “Sunrise Farm” is not a real kids’ show.
As the song progresses, it gets darker and more sinister, with a creeping bass line that keeps regurgitating and a building drum beat that signals something wicked’s coming.
As the video continues, Paul seems to be losing his mind, dancing with chickens and foxes, and doing the same activities day after day. The only difference is, he’s getting more drunk and high. It does not end well for him.
“Holding Hands With Jamie” was out Sept. 25 on Rough Trade.