We premiere the weird and always wonderful Twin Cabins’ “Still”.
Born in Mexico and raised in San Diego, the melodious mind behind Twin Cabins (yep just one mind, confusingly he’s on his on his todd), is known to friends and family as Nacho Cano. His music is wonderfully nostalgic, refreshing and completely inimitable – as mellow as it is moving. His debut album ‘I’m Sure’ is the perfect track list for a summer road trip, daydreaming with your head against the window as you pass under trees dappled in sunshine.
Twin Cabins’ new video for single ‘Still’ is as musically marvellous as it is multicoloured. Reminiscent of Michael Craig-Martin’s vibrant artworks and Julian Opie’s distinctive portraiture, who did that album cover for Blur: The Best Of (2000) – weirdly Opie studied under Craig-Martin at Goldsmith’s but that’s beside the point. Various male characters partake in a range of fairly mundane activities, such as pouring coffee or loosening their tie, all filmed in slow motion and set against brightly coloured, undescriptive backgrounds. What at first may appear to be a somewhat random sequence, actually holds a significant subliminal message for Twin Cabins. Cano says he wanted: ‘to change the visual language of who average men are and can be’ and the intense, exotic colouring is a vital part of this mission. The result? What started off as strange and comical ties up as 3 minutes and 10 seconds of unselfconsciously charismatic film. There’s something so captivating about the reality of it, as you catch some of them smiling uncontrollably to themselves, insinuating that they don’t take themselves too seriously.
Hello Mr Twin Cabins! Your music videos always seem to be wonderfully weird, where did you find inspiration for “Still”?
While I was in college, I was a part of this film club in Calarts called the “A115 Film Club”. Every Friday at 11 o’ clock we would watch a different movie. The thing that made the club unique was that before every movie someone from the club was in charge of making an opener. The curators for that semester asked me to make an opening for the double feature Mishima and American Gigolo. I excitedly agreed and got to work on my concept. I noticed that both movies dealt with a very interesting interpretation with the concept of masculinity. At times, Mishima is a colorful and vibrant expression of male vulnerability and aggression. American Gigolo is equally as colorful yet “hyper-sexual” in its visual depictions of the male body. Even though I was mesmerized by both movies, I noticed that the interpretation of the male physical figure hasn’t really changed.
Aside from Happy Together, I can’t really think of very many movies in which average men ever come off as truly erotic. This sort of frustrated me. For a long time, I dealt with not really feeling cool because I didn’t have what I felt made men physically sexy. Before Calarts I attended UCSB briefly, the whole time there I was really intimidated by guys were at a competition with each other to get buff and feel more attractive. I never joined that gang and sort of fell out of place the whole year I was there.
After shuffling ideas around, I decided that I would take on the task of making average men look beautiful by appropriating the medias interpretations of what makes a man attractive. I wanted to tackle it seriously because I really want to change the visual language of who average men are and can be. I asked friends and members of the film club to be a part of my video. I told them that I was going to shoot them in slow motion and that they would have to imitate Giorgio Armani models. I would assure my friends that they weren’t alone in their endeavor for I would take the task of stripping throughout the whole video. My best friend Matt and I lit them as brightly as we could. My girlfriend Angelina lathered them in baby oil or did their makeup and sent them over to the green screen. In post, I asked my buddy Hae-Joon to make all the backgrounds look like the color of the ties Richard Gere has in American Gigolo. The whole thing took 48hrs total to shoot, edit, and finalize in post. It premiered at the film club and later in the year at the Redcat theater.
What’s the song itself about? How does this interlink with the video?
Haha, I usually have a hard time telling people exactly what my songs are about. It sort of robs them of having their own interpretation. I will say however that this song is a response to all of the events that occurred in my life at the time. The video on the other hand is about something totally separate. I’ve always been a fan of music videos that tell a completely different narrative than what the song does. Electronic music videos tend to do this a lot.
You recently said you’re leaving music like your EP “I’m Sure” behind, what can we expect in the future?
I’m currently halfway done with the next record, it’s already got a title and everything. It’s a continuation of Harmless Fantasies thematically, it’s still very much about sex, identity, and trust. I think you can expect something a bit more electronic and vibrant but still very intimate. Trying to make my interpretation of dance music. Expect sax too.
“Still” is the last track on your most recent album, Harmless Fantasies, how would you describe the record to anyone who hasn’t heard it already?
It’s pleading in its lyrics but releasing in its sounds. It’s like the end of a relationship or the end of a painfully intimate moment. I think we’re all guilty of at one point or another staying somewhere we don’t want to me because of its comfortability.
Lastly what’s next? Any plans as weird and wonderful and the “Still” video coming up?
The next record and live shows. I think this record (Harmless Fantasies) has one more video to be made, but that’s still sort of up in the air since I’m not directing it. The next record will bring more videos and more surprises. In the meantime, probably going to be making remixes of other peoples songs and some hip hop beats. Man, I’d give anything to be sampled on a Knxwledge beat, been following that dude forever. But yeah, definitely more music and visuals in store.