Alt-J have revealed the gloomy new video for “Pusher,” the latest single off the band’s This Is All Yours, one of Rolling Stone‘s 50 Best Albums of 2014. Based on a concept by Alt-J frontman Joe Newman and brought to life by Division Paris and director Thomas Rhazi, the video features a man’s agonizing attempt to bring change to an uninformed society. “Pusher” is presented similarly to the Best Picture Oscar-winning Birdman, with the feel of one long shot cleverly divided by seamless cuts.
“The original idea was Joe’s one,” Rhazi said in a statement. “It was about a guy breaking his neck in a very poetic way. We spoke about the British Speaker’s Corners – all those men and women in the late Seventies preaching for their own reasons and beliefs. I wanted this film to be very humanist and as deep and simple as it could be.”
The video ends with the frustrated speaker committing suicide by violently twisting his own neck. “The hero does the most excessive act because he can’t do anything else – shaking up people’s minds in those dark and sad times,” Rhazi said.
“Pusher” tackles some heavy issues coming from a Mercury Prize-winning band that admittedly loves “big, bold, fucking easy pop.” “There’s no highbrow versus lowbrow for us,” Newman told Rolling Stone in the days leading up to the release of This Is All Yours, an album that features a Miley Cyrus sample.