WHAT: The official music video for “City Lights” by the White Stripes, which came about in a surprisingly unofficial way.
WHO: Michel Gondry directed the video for the song, which appears for the first time on Jack White’s just-released Acoustic Recordings 1998 – 2016 anthology.
WHY WE CARE: The existence of a new White Stripes song five years after the band broke up is noteworthy on its own, and “City Lights” is the sort of sweet little number that makes us miss the days when Meg White was complementing her former bandmate’s musical prowess with simple, affecting rhythm. But more than just that, the video showcases just what a visual stylist Michel Gondry is. He’s known for practical effects and whimsy, and in this piece–which he created as a surprise for White, sending it to the musician one night last week–that’s on full display. The camera doesn’t move, but focuses on the glass door of a hot shower while the person inside sketches new imagery with their finger. It’s simple, lovely, and transitory–just like the White Stripes themselves–which makes it a fine pick-me-up for a Monday afternoon.