BNL get Marvel animation treatment in New Disaster video

Just before they release their 16th album, Tour de Force, next month, those lovable guys in Barenaked Ladies have released an animated video for the first single, “New Disaster.”

But this isn’t just any regular ol’ video: The band looks at the bonkers world of 24 hours news, and our difficulty in escaping it, but in a graphic novel style created by Sarajevo-based artists Enis Cisic and Tomi Huml. Cisic’s previous credits include work in Marvel comics, including the award-winning book The Secret of Nikola Tesla, and Huml has worked on award-winning music videos, animated short films and visual effects for feature films. 

“The video uses a graphic novel-style presentation with comic book visual language to tell the story of the quintessential family unit who are watching the news,” the band explains. “The mother and father are hypnotized by the TV screen and the son by his mobile phone screen. The screens are showing chaos and destruction in the 24-hour news style, with an antagonistic anchorman and aggressive advertising, complete with nods to films like Dr. Strangelove and They Live. However, the little girl sees past the screen and her spell is broken by the music of Barenaked Ladies. She becomes a part of the music and brings that joy back to the living room and liberates the hypnosis of the rest of her family.” 

Songwriter and lead singer Ed Robertson says the song “is about the distraction of modern politics coupled with the pressures of the 24-hour news cycle, which is so sensational, un-vetted and un-researched. It seemed like the Nostradamus predictions of new disasters were getting worse and worse, even after we recorded the song.”

The band kept busy during the (good grief still ongoing) pandemic including a few livestream shows and virtual concerts and used the break to write the new album. 

Guests on the new album include heavy hitters including Kevin Griffin, Craig Wiseman, Donovan Woods, Danny Michel, Andy Creeggan (the band’s original keyboardist), Fernando Saunders and, this absolutely counts as a cameo, MOOG bass pedals from Geddy Lee.Check out the new video here

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

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