By: Yasmin Ettobi
You may have not yet heard of The Slaps, but the darkly glamorous music video for their latest single “Houses” will leave you itching for more of the Chicago trio’s tunes. Within the roughly five-minute-long visual, a glitzy disco intertwines with trippy cinematography and a kooky entourage of characters to create a storyline full of mystery and uncomfortable fascination.
Video aside, “Houses” is a lovely indie-rock piece, stricken with groovy flares of lo-fi wonder. With beachy harmonies that could be compared to the likes of the Texas crooners, Summer Salt, “Houses” is most definitely sunshiney on the surface. Once you dive deeper into the song’s lyrics and related visuals, themes of conflict and loneliness become more prevalent, giving “Houses” a more bitter flavor.
Watching this video will most likely leave you with a stream of questions running through your head. What is the mysterious, glowing, blue liquid that everyone is drinking? Why is it being forced down someone’s throat? Who’s the man tied up with a bag over his head? Where on earth did that magician come from? There are just a few of the bewilderments that watching “Houses” will bring. By the end of this video, none of these questions are answered, leaving the viewer aching for some kind of resolution, or even a backstory. Though it’s unlikely that we will ever receive an explanation, the mystery behind the video is what makes it so unique.
When thinking of indie rock music, an aesthetically pleasing display of some sort of twisted, almost cult-like celebration is hardly the first thing that comes to one’s mind, but that’s exactly what The Slaps’s music video for “Houses” comprises of. It may keep your eyes glued to the screen in fascination, it may cause you to turn away in fear or disgust, but there’s no denying that it’s an absolutely stellar piece of art.