Music Video: "Ready to Die" by Rei Clone

The music video for Rei Clone’s “Ready to Die” is a thing of beauty.

The video begins with footage from Smothered in Graavy, a show Rei Clone played this year in Dallas a few days before Thanksgiving. (It’s Jeff Brown of King Camel getting…well, smothered in gravy.) Given the silly nature of this opening clip, the “Ready to Die” video is a surprising—and, at times, devastatingly gorgeous—departure.

The video’s format is simple: close-up shots of Rei Clone’s members alternately playing, singing, or dancing. When the song begins, everything is cloaked in a geometrical blue-black-and-pink filter, making facial features and movements difficult to make out. (At times, the effect is vaguely reminiscent of some of the more psychedelic scenes in Waking Life.) By the end of the first verse and chorus, the video shifts into a different filter—a hazy pink and green delay that matches the dreamy sounds of Rei Clone’s shoegaze.

Throughout the video, everyone in Rei Clone alternates between playing their respective instruments and dancing. Occasionally the dancing is a little silly—see the two-minute mark for one example of a more lighthearted moment—but the gorgeousness of “Ready to Die” makes that silliness feel more magical than legitimately funny. Vocals, synths, and violin drift in and out of one another in a patchwork of sonic bliss. Bubbles float through the ether from shot to shot, picking up light; they look a little like fireflies. The general feel of the video is one of otherworldly power. If you could get trapped inside of a shoegaze song, this might be what you’d see. And it’s stunning.

“Ready to Die” is the first track on Rei Clone’s new album Wet, which was released in August of this year. Watch the video below, then visit their Bandcamp to buy the album and name your own price. (You’ll definitely want to own this one.)

Header image design by Brittany Keeton