OK Go have been writing catchy guitar-based pop songs with stellar hooks and harmonies since the ’90s, when they were just a bunch of goofy Chicago indie rock boys calling themselves “Stanley’s Joyful Noise.” But they didn’t become a cultural force whose every new single was guaranteed premiere placement in the public conscious until they revealed that they had an ambition and understanding of the power of the music video-as-art form every bit as big as their shout-along hooks.
Those videos are usually characterized by long takes, elaborate setups, and very impressive practical effects, and the band’s latest, for new single “I Won’t Let You Down,” has all of those elements–plus these weird Segway-like things for your butt.
Those weird butt-Segways are called UNI-CUBs, which are currently in development at Honda, which loaned a bunch of prototypes to the boys to let them make perhaps their most ambitious music video yet. In the video–directed by the band’s Damian Kulash with Kazuaki Seki–the dapper four-piece do synchronized dance moves from out of a building at Japan’s Chiba Prefecture and onto a courtyard. Utilizing hundreds of dancers in Japanese schoolgirl outfits, a “multi-copter camera” custom-built for the video, and a whole bunch of colorful umbrellas, OK Go create a video that alternates between first-person on-the-ground footage and Busby Berkeley-style kaleidoscopic overhead footage. It’s like the weirdest dream The Dude ever had.
OK Go is currently holding a remix contest for “I Won’t Let You Down” on Blend.io, where fans can collaborate on new versions of the song. If you can figure out a way to incorporate some butt-Segways and a few hundred umbrellas, we’re betting you’ll win.