John has a new music video for the track Brand E of the upcoming album Maya! It’s been quite a while since anything like that happened – the well-known and very loved The Past Recedes hit the internet in February 2005 as a downloadable, just a couple of months before YouTube was launched. That would be before Cenozoic in internet years.
The was posted to Planet Mu‘s YT account yesterday. It was directed by Amalia Irons, produced by Aura T-09 and it stars Tanya, a cat playing the late Maya as well as John himself as “Observer” and the multimedia artist Lee Bootee as “Blind Follower”.
A reminder: two more tracks off Maya, Usbrup Pensul and Amethblowl can be previewed and purchased individually. Just go to the Maya pre-order page.
The Brand E music video, scene by scene
The short film starts with cars moving fast on a highway.
Blind Follower, a woman wearing a suit appears and heads to a seemingly abandoned tunnel.
Long exposure lights from the highway flicker around a tree familiar from the 2004 “Six albums in six months” photo session.
A domestic cat with heterochromia looks on and abstract shapes start emitting from her eyes.
The Observer appears, raises his arms and bends down, with abstract lights now surrounding him, too.
He appears to have been transported to the street somewhere in the city, where he looks through theatre binoculars, with a pink ring going up and down from the top of his head to his chest and the binoculars emitting violet light.
Abstract vortexes in red-pink now travel the Los Angeles skyline…
…and the scene switches to barely visible people dancing in a club.
The Blind Follower is now in an Asian area of the city, walking through what looks like a cheap mall. More skyline shots follow.
The Observer is briefly seen overlaying the tunnel where the Blind Follower was first seen.
The next scene shows her looking at the Observer through the bushes.
The cat on the piano briefly blends in with scenes of the Blind Follower emitting ring light from her head and the Observer seemingly transforming to yellowish static noise.
The Blind Follower is sitting at the recording studio, watching a video of the cat playing on the same monitor the video is shown on. It is then revealed that she is holding the cat on her lap.
For a moment, the video on the screen changes to one of the Observer, with his clothes and the scene looking a lot like in the previous video. Likely a mere coincidence.
The observer is outside with his binoculars again. There is some smoke, the scenery is changing, it’s dawning and then he is in broad daylight.
Cars are passing down the highway again and then they fade to an image showing the MAYA logo under the sun and above the ocean at midday.
The end credits display a short video of a different cat – presumably the actual late Maya – playfully rolling on the floor.
Those are, no doubt, very intense five minutes of eerie, futuristic images and light beams.
Here are some of the more notable quotes from the online magazines and blogs following the release of the Brand video.
“Brand – E” is a five-minute burner that turns a mellow keyboard melody into an Aphex Twin-like number featuring a breakneck jungle beat, throbbing synths, and some blissful drum fills. Technically it’s an uptempo song because of its time signature, but Frusciante’s production work gives the whole thing a surprisingly relaxing feel. In the song’s music video, directed by Amalia Irons, a white-eyed blind woman can be seen walking through a dark tunnel and onwards towards downtown Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Frusciante himself is standing in a glass botanical room while lasers scan his body and flash across the sky. Things get more supernatural from there in what’s essentially an abstract sci-fi short.
– Consequences of Sound
The sci-fi clip stars Frusciante as a character called “Observer,” who spends most of his time looking through binoculars at a Blade Runner-esque city. It also features an adorable cat in reference to the album’s title, which is named after Frusciante’s own beloved cat, who recently passed away.
The track premiered alongside an abstract, sci-fi music video, which was directed by Amalia Irons and shot in various locations in Los Angeles. Frusciante and Lee Bootee star in the visual, as well as a cat named Tanya – a stand-in for Frusciante’s late cat Maya, which his forthcoming album is named after.
John Frusciante has released new track “Brand E” as the third preview of his upcoming album Maya. “Brand E” follows on from earlier tracks “Usbrup Pensul” and “Amethblowl”, and arrives with a Amalia Irons-directed video that sees Frusciante act as an alien observer alongside the blind follower, aka Lee Bootee.
– The Line of Best Fit
John Frusciante makes a rare appearance in the video for his track ‘Brand E’, which is taken from his new album, Maya. […] Maya is represented in the video for ‘Brand E’ by another cat, Tanya, who stars alongside Frusciante himself in the sci-fi short. Taking on the role of the Observer, the musician lurks around various locations in his hometown of Los Angeles, soundtracked by his melodic take on ’90s UK hardcore and jungle.
And how about you?
What do you folks think about the Brand E video? Did you like it? Tell us in comments!
Last updated: 22:04 CET – thanks to Shalhevet for telling me that there indeed IS a lot of press coverage that our crawler did not catch.