A few months ago I interviewed Jeanne Nickels and Marten Kaffke, two members of the fabulous Austrian experimental-pop band Kids N Cats.
During the interview, the pair talked about their upcoming sophomore album — 11 Tracks. An album that was written while on a world tour. A world tour that hit 11 countries, and an album that will feature 11 songs — one inspired by every country they visited.
A few days ago, the band released the first single from the new album, and a music video to go with it.
The song is called ‘Germany‘ and so the music video was, of course, filmed in…China.
Yes, Kids N Cats are the quirkiest, strangest, weirdest band whose work is never what you would expect or ever even close to anything another band might put out. And that is why I love them.
As is often the case with Kids N Cats too, the music video for ‘Germany‘ was directed by their friend and Austrian artist Daliah Spiegel. Someone who, from her work alone, you can tell is just as wonderfully weird as the members of Kids N Cats and, obviously, just as brilliant.
Spiegel currently lives in Shanghai — hence, the filming of ‘Germany‘ in that exotic city. A place that is just perfect for the artistic vision the band had in mind for this song, as it is a city that may seem one thing on the surface, but is unlike anything you may expect underneath.
After all you might want to look a bit closer at those Chinese “schoolgirls”, as they join a group of older Chinese in the park for a bit of Tai Chi, rub themselves up against trees, be generally disruptive in supermarkets and dance suggestively on rooftops as it begins to go dark.
Because, like Shanghai, nothing is as it seems with these Chinese schoolgirls either. Schoolgirls who, for the most part, aren’t all that Chinese or all that schoolgirl underneath it all, and who defy the popularly accepted idea that everyone young wants to stay that way.
Because they are “eager to get old”.
And while ‘Germany‘ as a song is, on the surface, another fun, addictive electro-pop number from the quirky Austrian band, listen to it a little bit closer and it actually starts to get quite creepy.
If it is truly indicative of what is yet to come from 11 Tracks, though, I can tell you now this is going to be one of my favorite albums of the year.
As for Daliah Spiegel’s video for ‘Germany‘, it really is more of an art piece than a music video as I found myself pausing the video again and again just to take screenshots, as so much of the cinematography is art magazine perfect.
Watch it below, and do notice the bemused looks of some of the Chinese passers-by as Kids N Cats behave as they usually behave. It’s fabulous.