“You are so intent on being everything,” sings Tanlines’ Eric Emm on the Brooklyn duo’s dance-pop bubbler “Not the Same.” The lyric is clearly aimed at an outside entity, but he could just as easily direct it at himself and partner Jesse Cohen in the new video for this Mixed Emotions standout.
When the clip kicks off, the camera is on Emm alone as he plinks away at an old beat-up piano, but soon we see another version of Emm holding a bass next to Cohen on drums, and then the pair appear again, and again, in different outfits and manning different instruments. On the far left, they’re sweater-sporting backup singers. All the way to the right, the pair are a tuxedoed string section. (As SPIN’s reviewer Puja Patel points out, Tanlines “are a highly evolved partnership.”) Forgiving the occasional see-through body part, the Tanlines-directed video pulls the curtain back on a modern band’s creative process, even as it adds a bit of magic to the proceedings.
For a little additional insight into the duo’s process, here’s Cohen via our June Breaking Out profile: “My instinct is to write upbeat melodies and warm sounds. Eric likes things slower and darker than I do. The way we work is, I’ll write the beat and a lot of the music, then Eric will come in alone and work the vocals over. It’s a mixture of light and dark.”