Beirut's new song "No No No" is sweet yet tentative, almost nervous, repeating the phrase "Don't know the first thing about who you are," several times as if embarrassed by its forwardness. The video, directed by Brother Willis, uses color and discordance to convey this feeling of hopeful anxiety, and eventually the video becomes as self-aware as the narrator of the song appears to be.
The video starts out simply enough; the band plays its song in front of a sunset-pink backdrop, flanked by some palm fronds. Soon the video turns strange. Feet start playing the piano, cardboard or invisible guitars are played, a skunk replaces a trombone. At several points, all of the band members perform with sheets over their heads, further characterizing the songs focus on self-consciousness.
The video ends with a long, slow shot of the stage, instruments hanging in the air where they should be, but with no band members in sight as several disembodied hands clap enthusiastically. Everything about this video is designed to make the viewer feel uncomfortable, even the cinematography; we are shown lengthy, blurry close-ups of the band members, and at times the studio in which the video was shot is clearly visible. However, the discomfort we feel is made up for by the good-naturedness of the video. Combine that with the easy-on-the-eyes color scheme and the slapstick humor (bottles are smashed over heads, one musician vomits green, another is squirted with water) and while we may be uncomfortable watching this, its three minutes feel awfully short.
Beirut's album No No No will be released on September 11th, 2015.