Though we knew they'd have a hard time matching the ingenuity of their last visal effort, the color-saturated, Sixties slasher vibe of the Phenomenal Handclap Band's newest video for "Baby" certainly matches previous visuals in style and substance. In this Steven Agnew directed clip, the band seems at home amongst their wooded surroundings. That is until they meet their grizzly end...and we're not talking a run in with Smokey the Bear. Last we checked the band had 8 members. That's quite a blood bath in two minutes and fifty-two seconds.
Band member Sean Marquand said about the filming of the video, "we went upstate to our friend Paddy's house, which was incredible, but the surreal serial killer aspect colored everyone's mood. Even when we weren't filming, there seemed to be someone sneaking up on us in the forest. The video reflects some of the highs and lows of our weekend. There's kinship and celebration there but there's also a
The Phenomenal Handclap Band is a tight-knit aggregation of musicians and artists from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. At the center of it is Daniel Colls, the Witch Doctor, and Sean Marquand, the Medicine Man; who, after years of searching and contemplation, through live performance and the manipulation of recorded music, have finally succeeded in assembling the personification of their holy vision: Patrick Wood, Nicholas Movshon, Luke O'Malley, Laura Marin, Quinn Luke, and Joan Tick, enhanced by the remarkable talents of Aurelio Valle, Carol C, Jaleel Bunton, Bart Davenport, Jon Spencer, and Lady Tigra, among carefully chosen others.
Together they have crafted a sound that is equal parts anthemic, dancefloor-oriented and orchestral, borrowing elements from progressive rock, disco, electro, and psychedelia.
The Phenomenal Handclap Band started when Colls and Marquand, two New York underground club DJs, became restless with the concept of playing other people's music. Both had also been involved in the thriving nightlife scene, and had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of esoteric music ranging from Brazilian soul to vintage psych-rock, so becoming producers seemed to be the next logical step.
After working with a wide range of artists, from veteran soul acts to up-and-coming rock n' rollers, the duo set their sights on The Phenomenal Handclap Band, a supergroup comprised of various luminaries of the indie rock and underground soul scenes. The resulting self-titled debut is the harmonious culmination of numerous diverse musical backgrounds, as well as a testament to Colls' and Marquand's singular musical vision.
The album begins with the meditative strains of the epic "Journey to Serra da Estrela" which erupts into a driving synthesized force, and foreshadows the arrival of "Testimony", in which Jaleel Bunton (TV on the Radio) provides a fiery psychedelic guitar backdrop for Aurelio Valle's (Calla) voodoo incantations. Carol C (S Se) lends her considerable vocal talents to "You'll Disappear", a cosmic disco floor-filler that sets the stage for The Lady Tigra's (L'Trimm) jump-rope rhymes on the soon-to-be classic summer jam, "15 to 20".
Live, The Phenomenal Handclap Band is distilled to an eight-member powerhouse, an eye-popping spectacle that overwhelms the senses. It pulses with a savage rhythm section that provides the ultimate foil for cascading guitars and electrified washes of organ and synthesizers. Their delirious sermonizing whips crowds into a charismatic frenzy. Needless to say, their live shows are more akin to a spiritual church revival than an actual rock show.