Sleigh Bells singer Alexis Krauss plays three “doomed women” in the band’s haunting video for new single “I Can Only Stare.” Co-directed by the band’s Derek Miller and filmmaker Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip, Queen of Earth), the clip traces the tragic paths of three women – one reclining ominously in a car, one standing on a church altar in her wedding dress, another waiting near a beach with roses – and climaxes with their shocking suicides.
Miller and Perry cut back and forth between the three scenes, building dread with random flourishes (a zoom-in on a “Dead End” street sign) and shots of the band performing in front of fire and cloud projections.
“I had never been asked to direct anything, at all, ever, prior to Derek reaching out via Instagram about whether or not a collaboration would be something I might consider,” Perry said in a statement describing the clip’s elaborate construction, which involved Super 16mm film and rear projection techniques. “I was flattered, and immediately interested. I knew from their prior videos that Sleigh Bells had a particular aesthetic and I was interested in finding ways to bring my working methods to that table. Then instantly, I felt this was a song I could hear a hundred or so times in the filming and editing, which also proved necessary.”
“It’s bleak, but hopefully inspiring, too,” Miller added. “Most of us have probably felt like one or all three of these characters at some point in time … There’s a tense, ominous quality to it which I hoped he would bring to the video.”
“I Can Only Stare” is Sleigh Bells’ latest single from their upcoming fourth LP, Jessica Rabbit, out November 11th via the band’s newly formed Torn Clean label. The Brooklyn duo will promote the album with performances on BBC2’s Later… With Jools Holland on November 1st and 4th.