People Museum Break Out of a Snowy Fantasy in “Ice” Video

The New Orleans–based duo’s latest LP, I Could Only See Night, is out now.

“Endurance” seems to be a theme that’s becoming more and more common in music the longer we distance ourselves from the onset of the pandemic—something relevant to everyone who’s relearned basic survival skills over the past 13 months, and an optimistic counter to the heavy concepts common in some of the other music written during this period. The new EP from People Museum often harnesses this optimism both musically and lyrically, with the standout track “Ice” adding Jeremy Phipps’ warbly synths and Claire Givens’ dramatic vocals—often recalling those of Poliça’s Channy Leaneagh—to the mix. “‘Ice’ is a song about enduring,” the duo shares. “It is about giving life and love one more go in spite of the pain. ‘Shake the ice from your back’ is an invitation to continue to open yourself up to life with all of its joys and heartaches, even after feeling hardened by what the world throws your way.”

Today they’re sharing an eerie, inverted-black-and-white visual for the track, filmed in Givens and director Nicholas Bateman’s living room, and, per the band, inspired by Joan of Arc and Gone with the Wind (“We went to a cold other planet of isolation to find liberation for this song,” they explain).

“Claire and Jeremy are both featured in the music to my film The Wanting Mare, which was scored by People Museum drummer/producer Aaron Boudreaux, so it was a real treat to get this opportunity,” Bateman adds. “I’ve been lucky enough to see their live performances in New Orleans, and those experiences have not only been unforgettable, they’ve become so emblematic of life before the pandemic,” Bateman adds, noting that Claire and Jeremy were featured in his recent film The Wanting Mare. “Through that, it initially seemed impossible to make pictures for the band that would be different from how I know their music: packed live shows filled body to body, cramped sweaty venues with hot lights and a band writhing in the center, deafening sounds of a voice and brass and drums, electronic dreams, nonstop dancing. 

“After months of trying to solve this problem,” he continues, “it seems we eventually decided not to. Instead, the only choice was to make something wholly from those deep coiled feelings that run through the band’s work, now standing center stage in isolation. We bring them back up through the fun of the act, making pictures that felt very much like dress-up, something hermetic, cold and clean, dark and repressed, a little relic. It is my personal hope that however and whenever this time ends, and People Museum rightfully returns to being an inexplicable live experience and experiment of music and people and culture and dancing, that the snowy little fantasy of this video will be amplified; then finished, caught crystals, a time capsule between friends.”

Watch the snowy clip below.

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