November 26, 2012

There’s a style of video you’ve probably seen in the last few years if you’ve spent any time at all cruising BuzzFeed, loitering at student art shows or subscribed to the Altered Zones RSS feed, built around found, stitched-together VHS footage to suggest something ironic about the gauzy veneer of nostalgia applied to rote ’80s commercials and instructional videos — or maybe it’s just cool to look at old stuff through glitchy filters just waiting to be appropriated by an Instagram spinoff.

Mac DeMarco, the nu-Wavves singer-songwriter I expressed some cautious excitement over at CMJ, has made a similarly styled video for “Ode to Viceroy,” as sparklingly languid of a guitar track as you’ll hear this year. There’s another level of ironic distance, though, when we see a VHS tape playing on a television inside of the music video — a double layer of retrograde technology that’s certainly a little playful in the mode of DeMarco’s winking charlatan gimmick, which he relishes throughout the rest of the video via fisheye jamming and nonchalant smoking. The ending also shows him doing an ace Homer Simpson impersonation as the song fades out to the close. Nice song, goofy video, high marks all around. The song is off of DeMarco’s 2, available via Captured Tracks.

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