Experimental electro-pop group People Museum, fronted by vocalist Claire Givens–who has described the band’s sound as “metallic pop music with roots in nature”–and trombonist Jeremy Phipps, are debuting three new music videos. Two of the video releases, “Clockwatcher” and “Bible Belt,” feature songs the band released on their 2018 debut album, I Dreamt You in Technicolor, while the third video, “Music Shed,” features new music from the band.
In speaking with OffBeat.com, Givens and Phipps explain that all three videos were filmed in the same space, in the Central Business District of New Orleans. There are variations to the three videos’ aesthetics, which are due mostly to the contributions of director/editor Camille Lenain and lighting designer Nathaniel Beckett. “There were loose directions,” says Phipps. “Directions like ‘Bible Belt’ feels red…we let them do as they felt.” Givens adds, “We placed a lot of trust in them since they both have been following the band from the beginning and know the worlds we want to create. The mood to our songs are very unique to each other and I’m proud we captured that.”
All three videos depict the band performing in the same space, a makeshift studio with flashing lights and white bricks, interspersed with close-up shots of Givens and Phipps. The editing on “Clockwatcher,” in particular, stands out as an inspired choice, as images of Givens and Phipps begin to fade together, with their faces alternatively superimposed on one another. The video for “Bible Belt” fits the song’s darker tone, with red backlighting and shifting video pace from slow to fast.
The band’s new song, “Music Shed,” starts with subtle synth and Phipps’ trombone, eventually being answered by Givens’ cool vocals, matched with the video’s purple lighting. “‘Music Shed’ is going to be a part of our new album we are releasing in December,” says Givens. “It’s new material, but we have been performing it in a live setting for the past few months. It’s been great to take it to the studio with the energy we have gotten from it live. I Dreamt You in Technicolor was mostly recorded before it was performed.”
Phipps says “Our band has grown a lot since the recording of IDYIT. We’ve been performing heavily for the last year in a lot of spaces and found dynamic shifts in these songs that work specific to a live show.” Givens adds “We made these videos to show how different our music can translate from studio recordings to a live band environment. These videos are pretty close to us performing with a crowd on stage. We feed off of each other pretty heavily and love performing together, and when we record we record one instrument at a time. It’s very different experiences that we are starting to connect. We are super excited to release the new album that really has the perfect balance of live and polished.”
People Museum formed in 2015 when Givens and Phipps met and started producing their own brand of New Orleans prog-pop. The band’s album, I Dreamt You in Technicolor, is available on all streaming services.