Brooklyn-via-San Francisco psych pop art collective NewVillager are known as much for their flamboyant, esoteric art projects and unique visual style as their music, so it's fitting that the new video for "ShotBigHorixon" is both playful and inscrutable.
"ShotBigHorixon" centers on an outdoor game played in a giant field,with band members dressing up as shamans and wood creatures. When Hive reached out to the band for a little more detail, we received, "In June 2011, we played the ShotBigHorixon game in New York's Hudson Valley. Using the rules of our mythology, the game was played in three rounds with a seed (green ball), cup (stick hoop) and ten players, each one corresponding to a song on our upcoming, self-titled album."
The video is just the latest in the band's long fascination with games and game theory. The band, whose core members are Ben Bromley and Ross Simonini (interviews editor at the Believer), has augmented many recent shows with ThreeTimes, a game involving a nine-foot, mutating sculpture called BlackCrowBoy. Last year RedHouse, the band's home and performance space, provided the backdrop for RichDoors, a 27-person, 10-part game filmed by director Ben Dickinson and released as a video of the same name. The band also recently created a lived-in, multi-room installation at L.A.'s Human Resources, where each section of the piece corresponded to a track on their upcoming album.
Directed by Adam Newport-Berra, who was promoted from his cinematographer role on the band's equally strange video "LightHouse," "ShotBigHorixon" continues the group's pattern of using ornate costumes and elaborate concepts. According to the group, NewVillager "represents the mythology through symbols, drawings, photographs, film, and installations" and is planning to publish a 1,000-page book later this year. While we're probably not any closer to understanding the collective, sometimes you just have to go with it and not overthink it.
NewVillager release their self-titled debut album August 16 via IAMSOUND.