“It’s a ’fuck-me-song’ instead of a ’fuck-you-song,’ I guess,” said Melle Dielesen of Dutch garage pop band Mozes and the Firstborn, referring to the track “Wannabe.” “The lyrics were meant to be self-mockery when I wrote them.”
That playful mockery gets a kind of dark twist in the minimal video for the jam, which Dielesen said was based on the David Lynch film “Inland Empire.”
Crickets — literal crickets — herald the beginning of the video, which opens on a pitch black scene. Guitar feedback then ushers in Dielesen, who shambles into frame — locked in the beam of a flashlight — leans into the camera, stares right into the spectators’ eyes and cries, “I’m a wannabe baby, I’m a wannabe baby, I wannabe, wannabe, wannabe.” The camera pans to the rest of the band then, cast in shadow, before locking on Dielesen’s face again — bathed in the flashlight’s glow like a kid telling a spooky story — as he sings, “I wannabe poor, I wannabe poor/Buy all my clothes at the secondhand store.”
A self-referential song about being a hipster is not what one would expect from the visuals accompanying the jam — which are more “Blair Witch Project” than “Being a Dickhead’s Cool” — but they add another layer to the admittedly simple singalong track. It’s a kind of sinister energy that evokes more established bands like The Black Lips, and burgeoning acts like Chicago’s The Orwells.
Mozes, however, doesn’t hail for the U.S. like its contemporaries — the band formed in the Netherlands, choosing to sing in English, Dielesen said, to reach a wider audience. “If you sing in Dutch you’re not likely to really get across the borders of the Netherlands,” he said. “We want to do that. Travel the world, spread the word… We’re still young, you know!”
Well, the dudes will certainly get a shot to do just that — they’re currently on U.S. tour in support of their self-titled LP.
Mozes and the Firstborn is out now on Burger Records.
9. 13 – Lola’s Saloon – Forth Worth TX
9. 14 – Stubb’s BBQ – Austin TX
9. 15 – Fitzgerald – Houston TX
9. 17 – Club Down Under – Tallahassee FL
9. 18 – Drunken Unicorn – Atlanta GA
9. 20 – Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia PA
9. 21 – Cameo – Brookyln NY