Alaskan rock band Portugal The Man just released its long-awaited music video for the single “Feel It Still.” And with help from Wieden + Kennedy, it’s made the experience a lot bigger than ear candy: It’s a social justice tool.
Directed by Ian Schwartz and fourclops ::) via Prettybird, with interactivity powered by Wirewax, the video is packed with Easter eggs to fuel what it’s calling #theresistance—including a direct-dial to the White House, a video explaining the legal rights of protestors, donation sites for Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, custom protest posters, and stencil kits for resistance graffiti.
“This project came at an interesting time where music and culture and politics are coming together in a way we haven’t seen in decades,” says W+K creative director Jason Kreher.
“We loved the idea of presenting the apathetic, decadent rebel just for kicks from the song against a hidden message of resistance—you know, like ‘This is for the people out there who are still feeling something; here is a real, practical laundry list of ways you can get out there and fight injustice.’”
See the video here:
You can also experience the full interactive video at feelitstill.com.
Not since Beyoncé’s “Formation” have we seen a music video so rife with symbolism. Most of the action happens in a junkyard, under the watchful gaze of two somber men on motorbikes.
Other images include a topless Barbie in camo pants, sitting on the cannon of a tank; dancers in masks, either creepy troll ones or antiviral surgical ones; a Sikh man burning a newspaper titled Info Wars, named after the alt-right radio show that helped consolidate Trump’s base; and the endless flickering light of televisions, reflecting only fuzz.
It ends with footage of protestors shouting “Love Trumps Hate,” projected over a screen that’s still spewing snow—a metaphor for the narrative war we’re all engaged in now, whether we know it or not.
After the election, musician/artist Amanda Palmer said ugly, scary politics would be great for art. “It’s already happening,” she said at a press conference. “The artists in my tribes have been like, ‘Alright. This is not good.’ We are sharpening our knives for a large buffet.”
As far as we can tell, this has been true. Arcade Fire’s “I Give You Power,” released in January, is as much an anthem about the power of people over governors as it is a message about sticking together.
And for the Amplifier Foundation, street artist Shepard Fairey worked with artists Jessica Sabogal and Ernesto Yerena to create gorgeous protest artwork, used both as advertising and for giving inauguration protestors some added visual punch.
“Feel It Still” follows the same path of creative resistance and empowered unity.
“We worked with so many rad people on this album, but ended up with just the four of us in a basement at 4 a.m. trying to say something that mattered,” says lead singer John Gourley. “Trying to write music that would help people feel they’re not alone, even if they’re angry or feeling lost. This video is our way of saying that we’re all in this together.”
“Feel It Still” dropped ahead of the band’s new album and North American tour, which kicks off on Thursday.