In Ama Chana’s review of the Deerhunter-curated ATP festival a couple of months ago, Verity Susman was singled out for special praise. Despite admitting he hated the first five minutes of performance, Ama ended up deeming it the highlight of the weekend. Especially intriguing was his description of the visuals that backed her performance, an unlikely combination of Star Trek and brass instrument based pornography. It sounded too good, or at least too weird, to be true.
Fortunately, we now have proof that he wasn’t just making it all up (at least not this time). The ex-Electrelane singer’s new video is indeed as bizarre as we’d been led to expect, and the music is just as brilliant. Retro space backdrops and crudely animated collages compete with legions of green-breasted figures with saxophones for penises. Soon there are saxophones floating through space, liberally spurting…well, you can use your imagination. Meanwhile, Star Trek’s Captain Jane takes a doomed space cruise to Mars with fellow Voyager Seven of Nine. As you do.
The lurid colours and Atari ST graphics are almost in danger of giving you a headache, but fortunately any cranium pains are soon soothed by a truly brilliant song. We’ve been playing Electrelane’s incredible electro-pop classic ‘I Want To Be The President’ a lot while Djing recently, and every time we wish they’d written more stuff in that vein. Well, ‘To Make You Be Afraid’ is like an answer to those prayers, a blissful, crystalline track not unlike Grimes at her best, only with Susman’s charismatic voice gliding over the top. If she keeps this up, she’ll be the highlight of many more weekends to come.
By Kier Wiater Carnihan