Directed by Broken Antler. Single out now on AWAL.
First new Badly Drawn Boy song in several years. And it sounds…highly compressed and terrible. Maybe it’s just YouTube but the mastering gives me a headache before the end of the video. (Update: the version streaming on Apple Music sounds slightly better.) Which is a shame because the song is a scootin’ little ditty about our current dystopian reality.
Welcome to the tragedy
It’s not the way it’s supposed to be, I know
The video is an appropriately psychedelic collage of absurdities. The whole thing is a lighthearted take on a subject that’s easy to be sour about.
Like a lot of Americans, I was introduced to Damon Gough’s music via a Christmas 2000 Gap ad. It’s hard to imagine now, but twenty years ago the use of good music in television commercials was a cause of great consternation. We were very concerned about “selling out” back then, which might seem quaint and naive today, but it used to be a very big deal. Volkswagen had made waves earlier in the year by using sadsack sacred cow Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon” in a spot for its Cabrio.
My generation of rock snobs suddenly realized our people had infiltrated the big ad agencies. Those of us who still identified more with Ethan Hawke’s character in Reality Bites assumed that these corporate stooges were all a bunch Ben Stillers intent on cashing in on the coolness we had cultivated so carefully. (It would be a long time before we accepted the biting reality that Troy Dyer is equally if not more douchey than Michael Grates… Either way, Winona forever!)
But I’m thankful to the young professionals at Modernista! for turning me on to Badly Drawn Boy. Glad he’s back…and let’s all hope he gets on the right side of the Loudness Wars.
“The Shining” from The Hour of Bewilderbeast (XL, 2000).