Sisyphus (formerly s/s/s) — the combined musical talents of Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux, and Serengeti — released its new music video, “Alcohol,” Friday at Vogue.com.
Created by John Gilpin, Grey Gordon, and Hannah Riffe, the video is political-minimal-maximal-liminal-clinical-credible-odd-intellectual… a sensory overload that leaves the viewer always one split second behind. The images range from mundane to evocative and obscure to ubiquitous, giving rise to a mental game: how many can you recognize? (Did you spot Walker Senior Performing Arts Curtor Philip Bither with Kate Nordstrum of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Bryce Dessner of The National? How about Walker Director Olga Viso). Restless, weighty lyrics pair with the rapid-fire images, evoking many potential associations and interpretations. “Expression repression submission,” gas masks, 9/11, Martha Stewart, self-immolation, Pope Francis, horse head masks, “he sucked out my soul with the devil’s integrity,” Miley Cyrus, the Berlin Holocaust memorial, Audrey Hepburn, the Challenger disaster, Diana Nyad’s Cuba-to-Florida swim, “depression repression obsession,” newborn babies, Taylor Swift, Elvis Presley, Afghanistan and Iraq… all coming back to alcohol alcohol alcohol alcohol. What stories do you see and hear?
Sisyphus made a cameo appearance at the Walker Friday night for the After Hours opening of Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take. “Alcohol” is from the trio’s new self-titled album, which was inspired in part by Hodges’ work and commissioned by the Walker Art Center and the SPCO’s Liquid Music series (the group’s name is, in part, a nod to Hodges’ Untitled boulders on the Walker hillside). The album will be released officially on March 18, 2014.