Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Vivian Girls and Her Smell's Alex Ross Perry dust off the VHS era in nostalgic video for "Sludge"

Screenshot: Vivian Girls (YouTube)

Vivian Girls’ tight pop-rock thunders beneath layers of bristly reverb, so it’s no surprise that it sounds great when set against the grainy aesthetic of ‘90s VHS. Prolific filmmaker Alex Ross Perry, fresh off the cathartic punk epic Her Smell, directed this lived-in clip for “Sludge,” saying in a statement that the recently reformed trio was a major inspiration on his latest film.

“I just counted: there are four different photos of Vivian Girls in the look book I made for Her Smell,” he says. “So if you had told me when I was first seeing them at Death By Audio (or was it Union Pool?) in 2008 (or was it late 2007?) that over a decade later, we’d be collaborating on a music video, I would have been alarmed at the specificity of this prophecy.”


He continues, “The notion was to invent a video for ‘Sludge’ that honored The Valley, toying with suburban nothingness and alienation, honoring filming locations from E.T. that are still emanating traces of decades-old magic. To explore the dichotomy of light and dark, mortal and immortal, self and self. Of then and now...

Watch the evocative video below.

The magic of Vivian Girls’ songwriting shimmers in their new tunes as well, the likes of which will be collected on their first new LP in eight years. Called Memory, it drops on September 20.

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About the author

Randall Colburn

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.