The video: Sun Airway go further into the bliss-pop clouds on the billowy and expansive “Wild Palms,” the A-side to the latest single on Dead Oceans which finds frontman Jon Barthmus giving a variety of pensive looks while in church pews.
The director: “Wild Palms” is the second Sun Airway video directed by Ricardo Rivera of Klip Collective (who also directed Sun Airway’s “Put The Days Away”). The collective is made up of fellow Philadelphians who’ve showed brotherly love to native sons like Kurt Vile as well.
The album: “Wild Palms” b/w “Symphony In White, No. 2” follows on the heels of Sun Airway’s 2010 debut Nocturne Of Exploded Crystal Chandelier. After the dissolution of the power-pop revivalist A-Sides in 2008, Barthmus and Patrick Marscheill started experimenting with electronics and developed a psychedelic, beaming take on synthesizer-based pop that became wildly prevalent a year later after the release of Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion. But equipped with undeniably forthright hooks on “American West” and “Oh, Naoko,” Sun Airway distinguished themselves as true pops craftsmen amongst the dozens of bandwagon jumpers.
The clip for “Wild Palms” is a work of simplicity and purpose — “Wild Palms” itself continues Sun Airway’s emphasis on Barthmus’ heavily reverbed, overlapping vocals arcing towards endless ascendancy. Rivera’s visual representation is about as accurate of a picture as you can get: while present, Barthmus remains somewhat of an incorporeal being, fading in and out of focus as his words superimpose over each other. Every movement appears slightly slowed and dreamy as “Wild Palms” seems to exist as a permanent part of the atmosphere — you could easily picture it being recorded in this cathedral as bright synths cut in and out like light through stained glass.