Watch Tune-Yards' 'Charlie Chaplin-Like' 'Real Thing' Video - Rolling Stone
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Watch Tune-Yards’ ‘Charlie Chaplin–Like’ ‘Real Thing’ Video

The pastel-painted ‘Nikki Nack’ clip finds vocalist Merill Garbus wrestling with mannequins

The line between what’s real and what’s surreal is blurred by Easter-y colors in Tune-Yards‘ pastel-painted video for “Real Thing.” Throughout the clip, mannequins assemble body parts from other dummies, frontwoman Merill Garbus breaks through walls and body suits and faces off with weird human-mannequin hybrids while singing the track from Tune-Yards’ latest record, Nikki Nack.

Interestingly, Garbus said in a statement that “Real Thing” was the one Nikki Nack song she didn’t want to make into a music video. “It has too many images of its own in the lyrics, and could mean so many different things for different listeners,” she said. “I love leaving room for audiences to paint their own mental pictures. What changed my mind is wanting so much for this particular song to be heard by more people. We chose Tom Jobbins’ idea because it framed the sometimes heavy lyrics in a Charlie Chaplin–like, humorous idea of me being a box of body parts in a factory. A simple and light-hearted backdrop for some complex and weighty ideas.”

“Hearing the song made me think of bright patterns and dancing hands,” Jobbins said in a statement. “With these initial thoughts in my mind and the song on repeat I envisaged a madcap story about three plastic sisters and an all-singing, all-dancing Merrill. It’s a brash and brilliant song and I wanted to match that with the visuals.” Additionally, Jobbins said that Garbus wanted him “to go weirder and wilder” with the video’s concept.

Tune-Yards have planned a fall tour that includes a residency in Brooklyn. Cibo Matto open all of their tour dates.

Tune-Yards Tour Dates:

December 4 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
December 5 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
December 6 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
December 7 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
December 10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern
December 11 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre
December 12 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre
December 13 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre

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