just released their video for "Violet," which was released as a single back in July and appeared on their most recent album Popular Manipulations
, and things get… weird. The video begins with ominous images of a burning house and a TV screen showing static before cutting to the video's main characters: the old man sitting in front of a TV, and a seemingly normal suburban family. The guy at the table is visibly bored as the mother checks her teeth in a makeup mirror and the girl absentmindedly blows bubbles with her gum.
Things take an unsettling turn when the mother begins to smother her steak in ketchup and the daughter pushes her plate away so she can rest herself on the table. The son envisions the simple dinner scene falling completely falling apart - the table shaking, the mother with makeup streaks and tears running down her face, and the daughter stabbing her steak with a crazed look - only to realize he's still in the same dreary, slightly-off situation. Apparently determined to break up his typical mundane routine, the main character makes a phone call and is taken to house, where the old man previously shown in the video now appears in a sequined suit-jacket, ready to give an impassioned lap dance.
The strange discomfort of the music video, directed by Kris Merc, mirrors the theme of the song itself. In talking about the meaning of the song, The Districts has said that it's all about the ideas of "possessiveness, intimacy, sex, dependency, and how they're used manipulatively." They note that these subjects are often written about as normal, beautiful things in modern pop songs - it's pretty normal to hear songs about how much the artist "needs your love" or something along those lines. Instead, "Violet" views the darker side of those themes; "This song was using those same ideas but observing the strangeness in them, rather than celebrating them." The video, like the song, definitely focuses on the strange - it's not every day that you see old men in sequins giving lap dances.