An unsuccessful swordfight for at least one man, the slickest pickpocket ever, a wedding dress on fire, the flower girl holding a match and pocketing a $20 bill: Welcome to the chaotic, unholy union depicted in Ephrata’s “Belle of the Ball” video.
Filmed in Snow Crash author Neal Stephenson’s gorgeous backyard, the video for the Seattle band’s seven-inch single is akin to a marriage ceremony thrown at the Twin Peaks Roadhouse, standing in sharp contrast to the melodic track. In fact, band member and filmmaker Brady Hall (who also produced Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls’ debut album as La Sera) envisioned the song being played at an idyllic summer wedding.
“You always hear stories of wedding guests getting into fistfights and knocking somebody’s ass into the cake or something,” Hall told Hive, “So we thought up a list of bombastic visuals within that theme.”
The wedding in the video, however — also attended by best-selling romance novelist Julia Quinn — goes beyond the norm when it comes to wedding day drama. It’s more in the realm of a bottle getting cracked over your head than wiping cake off of your tux trousers. Characters partake in poison-spiked champagne cocktails and dash around the yard wielding showerheads, each living out their own individual dramas. “We tried our best to make sure those came across if you look hard enough,” Hall said.
“There is also a main story,” he added. “The maid of honor has a side affair with the groom and paid the flower girl to light the bride’s dress on fire and ruin the wedding. I’m not sure that ended up being super clear, but who cares ‘cause fire!”
The video itself combines a sense of almost twee cuteness (because honestly, what’s cuter than a wedding besides maybe puppies?) with a very keen sense of the macabre. Hall said, “I definitely tend to go towards weird or gruesome vibes with a lot of my music videos. Honestly, I don’t know why I keep making those kinds of videos. I suppose there’s just a real aversion to the way a lot of videos are just the band sitting there playing and lip synching or walking in the woods staring at the sky. I’d rather see some weird or exciting things happen.”