Clip from Yeasayer, “Silly Me” (2016) (all GIFs by the author for Hyperallergic)

“Where’s my head?” sing Chris Keating and Anand Wilder of psych-pop band Yeasayer in “Silly Me,” a track off their new album Amen & Goodbye. The discovery of a massive head — disembodied, glowing purple, and floating in space — is the climax of the song’s trippy new video, by Brooklyn-based directing collective New Media Ltd. Animated from sculptures by designer Mike Anderson, part of New Media Ltd., the video follows a boy and a girl through a fantastical, Dalí-esque landscape. They canoe on a sea of reflective honeycomb, dance with animals in a tree cave, and encounter undulating, luminescent extraterrestrials. Full of anthropomorphic beasts, it’s an adventure tale reminiscent of both Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox and Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are.

“Silly Me” is a prequel to Yeasayer’s equally otherworldly video for “I Am Chemistry,” also directed by New Media Ltd., and featuring 3D scans of sculptures by artist David Altmejd. For the cover of Amen & Goodbye, Yeasayer commissioned Altmejd to create a series of sculptures of characters referenced in their lyrics. Along with anonymous faces, Altmejd sculpted the heads of Donald Trump, Mark Twain, and Henrietta Lacks — the unwitting donor of the “immortal” cells that scientists used to cure polio.

Made from amalgams of organic and inorganic materials, Altmejd’s sculpted faces are lumpy and mottled, but still creepily lifelike. On the album cover, the heads are part of a hectic tableau that resembles a wax museum on acid. In the video for “I Am Chemistry,” they become set pieces in an sci-fi landscape populated by shapeshifting aliens.

Clip from Yeasayer, “Silly Me” (2016)

Clip from Yeasayer, “Silly Me” (2016)

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the video for “Silly Me” featured sculptures by David Altmejd. The sculptures in “Silly Me” are all by Mike Anderson. It also stated that Mike Anderson directed the videos. They were directed by New Media Ltd., of which Anderson is a part. We regret the errors. 

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Carey Dunne

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering arts and culture. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Baffler, The Village Voice, and elsewhere.