The creeping, constant fear that you’re being followed anchors the intense new clip for “Noir State Beach” from Los Angeles’ eerie psych rockers Xu Xu Fang and starring True Blood regular and Fifty Shades of Grey star Luke Grimes.
Directed by frequent Spike Jonze collaborator Casey Storm, the clip opens with Grimes getting in his car, putting on “Noir State Beach” and pulling up to an intersection, where a peculiar man (Steve Railsback) holding a cardboard sign reading “Xu Xu Fang” confronts him. The man’s there at every turn of Grimes’ journey throughout Los Angeles – along with a few other odd characters, including someone in a penguin suit and a creepy line cook – until finally Grimes corners him in an abandoned alley. He punches the gas and steers right towards the man, who vanishes and reappears in an instant. A foot chase ensues, with the man leading Grimes into a black room where he’s bombarded by the people he’s seen throughout the day, all sorts of animals and Xu Xu Fang themselves.
With Grimes’ mind thoroughly blown, the clip fades and cuts to a young girl who cues up “Noir State Beach” while in the car with her mom. At the first intersection they come to, there’s Grimes himself holding up the same “Xu Xu Fang” sign.
“Bobby [Tamkin] and Xu Xu Fang’s music is so moody and emotional that it almost demands a visual accompaniment,” Storm tells Rolling Stone. “I tried to create a film that would capture that sentiment and enlisted a cast and crew that was so talented and collaborative and truly understood the spirit of the song. Chris knew exactly how to capture the visual essence and tone of Los Angeles, and LA is the home of Film Noir. The relationship between Luke and Steve, who played Charles Manson in Helter Skelter, seemed like a classic character showdown you would find in Film Noir, and has all of the same sort of paranoia.”
“Noir State Beach” is the first official single from Xu Xu Fang’s upcoming new record, which features contributions from Queens of the Stone Age‘s Michael Shuman and multi-instrumentalist Alain Johannes, who’s worked with QOTSA, Arctic Monkeys, Chris Cornell and more.