All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Wed September 11, 2013

First Watch: Polyphonic Spree, 'Raise Your Head'

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 6:56 am

The inventor and engineer Rube Goldberg was known for designing elaborate machines that performed simple tasks, usually in a string of successive events, each one triggering the next. His work has been the inspiration for a lot of fantastic art and music videos (think of OK Go's "This Too Shall Pass," or A-Trak's "Tuna Melt").

For The Polyphonic Spree's latest video, the band decided to take a slightly different approach, orchestrating a Rube Goldberg sequence that fails spectacularly.

The video, featuring the Australian comedy duo The Umbilical Brothers, unfolds as a possible dream, with a cast of hand puppets (yes, hand puppets) guiding us through one failed trick after another. "I've always been interested in what happens on the failed attempts at a video of [the Rube Goldberg] style," director Alex Gabbott tells us via email. The Umbilical Brothers' "brand of physical comedy melded well with a satirical takedown of trendy 'one-take' music videos."

The video turns a song that otherwise celebrates the majesty and wonder of life into a short burst of parody, which Polyphonic Spree's frontman Tim Delaughter says is just fine. "The best part about videos is the fact that someone can come along and take what you initially messaged and turn it upside down, usually in a pleasing way."

"Raise Your Head" is from The Polyphonic Spree's latest album, Yes, It's True.

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