In possibly her most commercially savvy move ever, Cat Power‘s Chan Marshall hops on the post-apocalyptic bandwagon in her self-directed, video game-like clip for her new single “Cherokee.” As it opens, the bleach-blonde Marshall is laying low in a desert, as an SUV pulls up. A man waits in the back of it with a toy gun with a hovering red-and-purple triangle, the significance of which comes into focus when stumbling zombie-like men with their own hovering triangles move towards the vehicle. He shoots at them and they become enveloped in yellow halos, falling as though they’ve been shot, and one of the victims’ triangles turns green, signaling that it’s OK to take him. From there, Marshall and her partner join up with their survivalist group. The rest of the video depicts the group roving through the desert, remembering normal life and having a sort of face-off at the end.
The song features Marshall airily singing over trembling chords, as she sings, “Bury me upside down” (which does not appear to be a Cherokee custom specifically.) Nevertheless, its sparse atmosphere and panicky “Bury me, marry me to the sky” chorus somehow plays off the video’s imagery in an eerie way. But that might just be due to the fact that post-apocalyptic clips, whether 2Pac‘s “California Love,” Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” or, hell, even the granddaddies of post-apocalyptic music videos, Quarterflash‘s “Harden My Heart” and Tom Petty‘s “You Got Lucky,” just evoke a cool vibe.
For more Cat Power, read Hive’s exploration of her new record Sun here.