Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Screenshot: Nick Lutsko (YouTube)

You might know Nick Lutsko from his brilliant (and shockingly catchy) musical parodies of Donald Trump, Alex Jones, Fox News, and Pizzagate, but the Chattanooga-born songwriter and Super Deluxe veteran also has a deep catalog of original material. In fact, his ambitious new album Swords, is due out this October. Today, in advance of its release, The A.V. Club is stoked to debut both its lead single—the buoyant, genre-defying “Sideshow”—and the song’s mind-melting video.

‘Sideshow’ came to me in pieces between 2016 and 2018. For the video, I wanted to explore the themes of willful ignorance and how disorienting it can be when surrounded by it,” Lutsko tells us. “This is the third music video I’ve done with director Justin Cipriani, but it’s by far the biggest scale. I’m really lucky to have my name attached to something that so many talented artists contributed to.”


The clip’s gallery of papier-mâché creatures oscillate between happy and horrifying in Cipriani’s vision, which finds its sausage-nosed, Muppet-like protagonist—played by bandmate Greezy Rick—ushered through a flammable nightmare filled with clowns, cannibals, and wrestlers caked in blue powder. Like the song, there’s a quiet tragedy simmering beneath all the bright colors.

Watch it below.

As for Swords, Lutsko says that “each song covers a different facet of my disillusionment with the current zeitgeist.” He continues, “I’m hesitant to call it a concept album, because I never sat down with the intention to create one. Writing regularly for Super Deluxe forced me to keep a close, critical eye on the news and media, and I think a sense of bewilderment began to dominate my subconscious as a result.”

Swords drops on October 25, 2019.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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