The National have premiered the new music video for their song "Conversation 16", from fifth studio album High Violet. The video combines sadness, drama, and power, into an odd array of Presidential and Secret Service romantic fantasies that would appear comical, if it were not for the morbid seriousness of the song itself.
The "Conversation 16" video stars Mad Men's John Slattery, who is a Secret Service agent that yearns for the fictional female President of the United States, played by Kristen Schaal. She is as cooky as ever, despite her prestigious role, which coincides with the overly dramatic daydreams that Slattery's character ponders, including taking a bullet to save her life with a grin on his face and dancing in ever lasting circles while throwing confetti. In some ways, the unrequited love represented through these characters (made worse by the entrance of a foreign leader and swooner, whom Schaal falls for), is an off-beat representation of the song's heartwrenching darkness and depth of pain. Although comedy would seem like an obtrusive contrast to the track, the absurdities of the video work well with the haunting tone that captivates "Conversation 16".
While I resist jokes in which I rhyme John Slattery's name with flattery, watch the new music video for "Conversation 16" below: