Confidence is everything in the world of pop music, one of the most fascinating things being the way that it’s manifested in a myriad of different ways.
Think Mick Jagger having the balls to present himself as the spawn of Satan—right down to the hand-drawn tattoo—on the BBC-Broadcast spectacle The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. Or a majestically mulleted, white-flag waving Bono marching through a devastating “Sunday Bloody Sunday” at the rain-drenched 1983 coming-out party that was Red Rocks.
Rivers Cuomo has built a long and enigmatic career by going all-in on the idea that he couldn't be prouder of his screaming riot-nerdom. Rico Nasty's clearly confident that she's the most baddest ass-kicking bitch on the block since Annie Wilkes.
British Columbia’s ever-mysterious Art d’Ecco has a way to go before he’s in the company of such icons, but there’s no disputing that he has that intangible thing separating the pros from the pretenders.
Consider, if you will, the new video for “TV God”, paying close attention to things around the 1:20 mark. That’s when the man based on a Gulf Island he’s strangely hesitant to reveal looks dead-straight into the camera and intones “I’m right/You’re wrong”. The great thing about that moment? You know that there is zero fucking doubt that he legitimately believes he’s got shit figured out, and you’ve got your head wedged firmly up your clueless ass.
Pulling back to look at the larger picture, it’s hard not love videos where it’s just a group of musicians with a camera on them. Keep your Armani suits and yachts off the shores of Rio—give us Chrissie Hynde rocking the fuck out in a room for “Tattooed Love Boys”. Closeups of analogue keys and amps a bonus a sweet bonus.
And speaking of bonuses, at the risk of glamourizing marijuana, mushrooms, and Latvian horse tranquilizers, the last minute of “TV God” is suddenly as magnificent visually as it is sonically. Everything seems to get more grainy, white-light-flooded, and more colour-saturated. And, above all, trippy. Confidence is evidently one hell of a drug.
Watch for “TV God” on Art d’Ecco’s upcoming sophomore outing In Standard Definition, which you can pre-oder here.