EXCLUSIVE: Noah LeGrand's "Cactus" Music Video Premiere

The music video for "Cacti" opens on a cloudy day outside of University Courtyards. Noah LeGrand gets into his car. As he sits for a few seconds, he lets out a soft sigh of frustration before abruptly getting out. He begins walking solemnly as the sound of a snare drum comes in, followed by the soft melodies of an acoustic guitar and a glockenspiel. As Elaine Ballard mentions in her review of LeGrand’s EP, You Sound So Gross Right Now, the song is reminiscent of 90s alt-rock, complete with angst-ridden lyrics. The gloomy weather outside brings this concept home, echoing the feel of the Pacific Northwest, the origin of the 90s alt-rock explosion.

As LeGrand walks through the apartment complex, he passes his keyboard player. Two women join him, happily dancing behind our hero as he continues to walk, seemingly unaware and uninterested in their presence. As the group continues on, they are joined by a lone basketball player who, like the women before him, begins dancing happily while LeGrand walks, still disenchanted with everything going on around him. Our subject leads them to the open door of his apartment where the rest of his instrumentalists are playing to the song. The dancers move in to join them while LeGrand walks into his room. As he enters the room, he turns to his dresser and picks up a small cactus in a vase before turning and leaving.

According to the video’s director, Andrew Valentine, the concept behind the film came from his love of ‘one-take’ videos such as Edgar Wright’s After Hours. “I shared this idea with Noah, and while we were listening to the song I remarked, ‘This is a very walkable song,’ and he and I kept returning to the idea,” says Valentine. He adds that the film’s cinematographer Zachary Taylor was recruited due to his experience with other one-take videos. When asked about the video’s concept, Valentine states that “the basic concept of the video was set before it was chosen to go with the specific song, "Cacti." After choosing the song, we added the cactus at the end as a direct visual connection to the song…I feel "Cacti," along with the other songs, ha[s] a unique mix of melancholy and whimsy. I told Noah to be disenchanted and in his own world while walking and singing, and for everyone else to be as absolutely happy and whimsical as possible.”

Noah LeGrand’s EP You Sound So Gross Right Now is available for purchase via his Bandcamp.