To the outsider, identity politics, more often than not, feel something like a game. The kind of thing where 'picking a team' is of utmost importance, if only to the 'the other side' that is busy selling uniforms. Which is why a chorus like "Whether you see me as a woman or whether you see me as a queer, please don't let me know" on Pink Noise Party's latest single "Queer." Allegedly, a pack of French physicists who happened to meet at an international physics conference in Los Alamos (there was a record store around the corner, apparently) and call themselves take to rock and roll in the style of their rock radio mainstays and countrymen Phoenix, who they cite as influences. An earlier single—the mournful summer jam, "End of Summer," was called a "superlatively smooth yacht rock reverie" by TMRW magazine. On "Queer," Pink Noise Party indulge in this kind of nostalgia, telling me that the '70s were "a time that we more or less consciously…associate with tolerance and beautiful utopias." Richard Nixon might have been in the White House but David Bowie was in New York.
The title also brings to mind Garbage's hit of the same name, which Stéphane Sednaoui turned into a black-and-white cacophony that famously cumulated in the band's abductee shaved by Shirley Manson in grainy 16mm. But, in signing on Aureliane Camps to direct their video for "Queer," which we're premiering over here at Popdust, Pink Noise Party are far more interested in colorful visuals and ample hair: Syd X. Rey, the band's singer, dons a 'fro equally Diana Ross and Richard Simmons while, behind, four back-up dancers are dressed in vinyl with designs evoking the record covers of fun electronica. Neon lights abound in the Bruce Nauman-imitations popular back then and Camps dresses up the whole affair with intercuts of well-dressed party goers in another room drinking from flutes. One of them turns on a nearby TV and puts on X. Rey's 'fro party. There are gasps.