America’s house is burning down, literally and metaphorically, in the new music video for Santigold’s new single, “The Keepers.” The Philly-bred dance-pop-punk singer-songwriter is seated at a 1950’s suburban dinner table, the only black face (though platinum-tressed) except for a maid, who serves glowing green fish and polluted drinking water to the oblivious family.
“I walk blind/With smoke in my eyes,” Santigold sings, turning her catchy anthem into a sharp critique of the ambivalence and passivity that pervades American culture. And the chorus warns: “We’re the keepers/While we sleep in America/Our house is burning down/Our house is burning down.”
Directed by Nabil, who’s behind videos for such artists as Kanye West, Nas and Bon Iver, “The Keepers” takes in the whole of American life, from midcentury clichés to today’s YouTubing youth. As GZA shoots the milkman in a drive-by, as the world falls apart, we just keep on dancing.
“The Keepers” is off Santigold’s album Master of My Make-Believe.