Back in January, Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O collaborated with production duo N.A.S.A. on a laid-back, synth-heavy cover of Bob Marley’s reggae classic “I Shot the Sheriff.” Now the track has an animated music video, illustrated and directed by San Charoenchai, bringing Marley’s epic tale to life.
In the clip, Charoenchai illustrates the evil sheriff John Brown as a creeping, gun-slinging silhouette with an ever-present cigarette dangling from his mouth. As Karen O sings the outlaw tale in chipmunk harmonies, the words flash in bold letters (“SHOT HIM DOWN”) against a trippy backdrop of shifting colors and landscapes.
Charoenchai’s most clever (and obscure) tactic is reimagining the lyrics as part of Zane Grey’s 1921 Western novel The Mysterious Rider, animating select Marley lines (“Sheriff Brown always hated me”) into the story’s pages. The clip ends with a shot of the Sheriff grooving at a disco.
The funky cover debuted in a Sonos commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. Overall, their version comes off as more polished and poppy than the Marley and the Wailers original, which Rolling Stone ranked the 450th greatest song of all time.
Karen O has been in the collaborative mood lately: Back in February, she and Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig released a duet version of her Oscar-nominated original “The Moon Song,” written for Spike Jonze’s acclaimed 2013 film, Her.