16 Mar Al Bairre’s Music Video for ‘Bungalow’ | Abs, Gymnasts and Indie-pop Energy
After too much existential and emotional rumination, Nicholas Preen of Al Bairre was inspired to write Bungalow, a song essentially stemming from the thought: “Wake up you selfish loser, life is pretty alright in the here and now!”. This translates into a tune characterised by an infectious energy, with a mixture of catchy guitar riffs and foot-tapping beats amplifying the indie-pop whimsy.
The video for the song, shot by Deon van Zyl and directed by Daniel Morcos, was filmed over the course of two days in a gymnasium in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Initially, the band met up with Daniel, who took the track home with him, and came up with the concept a few days later. He told us about his idea behind the video:
Al Bairre has a special capacity to draw people into their experience, no matter who they perform for. It’s something rare and it moved me to explore questions of acceptance and belonging. Rather than belonging being defined by shared race, gender or ability the video explores it as simply allowing very different people to exist and participate in the same space. I thought it would be interesting to see if that meaning could be created from the juxtaposition of wildly different characters in the same shot. Every detail and moment was crafted to attempt to capture this sense of belonging, allowing others to be themselves beyond their superficial differences. That specific idea is subtle, you have to look for it. Even after all the conceptualisation and planning, the magic really arrived with the band when they stepped on set. We had so much fun, and I think it really shows.
The result involves the band members with a professional stunt team, a pack of body builders, various dancers and some martial arts rendered in a unique palette of colour and character. The gymnasium provides beautiful light and lines for well-composed frames, often using windows and stairs as an interesting backdrop. Another recurring element, quite literally embodied in the twins Tessa and Julia Johnson, is the sense of symmetry. As Daniel envisioned, we have the contradiction of Kyle Davis’s unsmiling, guitarist grunge surrounded by pastel gymnast’s ribbons, and the juxtaposition of the twin’s small frames flanked by impressively muscled body builders.
There’s an echo of high school awkwardness; sort of like The Breakfast Club meeting Ferris Bueller’s Day Off but reimagined with a vibey, yet ultra-cool quirkiness. The band responded to Daniel’s initial idea with: “Naturally we said yes. Nicholas loves doing hand stands, Kyle loves dancers and The Twins love abs and ripped triceps.” Their attitude perfectly sums up the humorous essence of this video – upbeat, strange and wonderful all at once.
Director and Editor: Daniel Morcos
Producers: Jennifer Pack, Christy Morcos and Daniel Morcos
Assistant director: Howard James Fyvie
Cinematographer and Colourist: Deon van Zyl
Camera assistant: Eugene Rabe
Second assistant director: Ross Bennet
Wardrobe and styling: Christy Morcos
Wardrobe assistant: Francoise de Villiers
Production assistants: Michelle Nagy and Luke Giesler
Location manager: Mandla Giyose