If there is something anarchic, primal, and unknowable about Sam Macon’s new video for Swedish band Goat’s song “Hide From The Sun,” from their new Subpop album Commune, that may be in part because there is something primal, pagan, and mysterious about the band itself. Its members wear masks when they perform, and it is rumored that the band has been existence for 30-odd years, in different forms. Leaping to the African-inspired pounding beat of the song, in this video human figures wearing animal masks chase a pre-Raphaelite young woman, wearing a diaphanous white gown, through a misty forest, are subdued by her in a flash of light, and then become her subjects after a hallucinatory journey through a long tunnel into an ill-defined afterworld. The lyrics are not overly intelligible, which is fine; in a song like this words function more as mood-setters through tone than as bearers of meaning. Sam Macon has designed beautiful, semi-Mayan, semi-indigenous, semi-childlike costumes for this piece, and provides animation for its more surreal parts that looks both hand-crafted and carefully considered. Watching Macon’s colors cavort and spin through the universe he creates would leave blessed trails on the retinae of any viewer. The song has a panicky nerve to it; raher than letting his camera be guided by the jumps and jolts of the song, though, Macon lets this energy flow through the film and empower it, pushing it along. Wordless epiphanies occur, one after the other, about power, about the nature of vision, about the passage into maturity, as we move through the video; we drink these in because, old as the story Macon tells might be, we never tire of hearing it.
Max Winter is the Editor of Press Play.