Unknown Mortal Orchestra unpack and explore modern life and its myriad afflictions and phenomena, from restless leg syndrome to rapture, in the peculiar new video for “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone.”
Directed by Dimitri Basil and his co-director, Cooper Roussel, the video opens with a scene reminiscent of Jean-Luc Godard and French New Wave cinema, as a man and woman discuss an unexplainable object in fittingly esoteric terms. Once the full song kicks in, the clip becomes a parade of vignettes centered around different phobias, diseases or actions.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s peppy psychedelia serves as the perfect soundtrack for Basil and Roussel’s wry, simple style: Two men clutch their ears in agony as the swinging track begins, illustrating the acoustic phenomena, “Malignant Hum”; a woman darts down a passageway as the camera pans away from her for “Panphobia,” the persistent fear of an unknown evil (not of simple camera movements); while a ball of light bursting from enclosed hands stands in for “Divine Intervention.”
“‘Can’t Keep Checking My Phone’ is so full of sounds and its lyrics are so elusive so I decided that one idea wouldn’t do the track justice,” reads the YouTube description, ostensibly written by Basil. “My approach was to present the multiple ideas as if they were a trading card deck.”
“Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” appears on UMO’s latest album, Multi-Love, which arrived in May. The group spent much of the summer touring North America, and are set to embark on a European trek in September, followed by a tour of Australia and New Zealand in December. UMO does, however, have a handful of North American dates scheduled, including a set at Austin City Limits Music Festival on October 3rd.