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Watch Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Towering ‘Despair’ Video, Shot Atop the Empire State Building

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Despair," video, Empire State Building

The Empire State Building hasn’t been the tallest building in the world since before Karen O was born. For a brief time, though, from the fall of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, to the rise of One World Trade Center last year, it was again the tallest in New York City. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs became the first act ever to shoot a music video on top of the Empire State Building with their clip for slow-building “Despair,” from this year’s Mosquito, and the resulting clip stands far above most videos you’ll see this year.

Directed by Patrick Daughters, whose career stretches from Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ breakthrough “Maps” to Phoenix’s recent “Entertainment,” the visuals show the New York band performing on the skyscraper’s 86th-floor observation deck as the day begins in the city. “Some sun has got to rise,” O insists, ablaze herself in sequined yellow. The band goes from a dive bar to performing on the pinnacle of a world-famous building. The sun rises, too.