Cardiff new wave newcomers Plastic Estate will release their debut single “This Place” on June 19.
Just when I thought I might go all summer without watching any existentially-unmooring, slow-motion Olympics recap footage, Plastic Estate stepped in to fill the void. The Cardiff “coldwave” duo’s new video for their latest single, “This Place,” pairs the glinting, nostalgic synth-pop track with vintage Olympics clips.
“We wanted to create a visual piece that would really emulate the light, convivial sentiments within the track,” Plastic Estate tells AdHoc of the video, which premieres below. “Although it’s possible to pick out some darker lyrics, the overall feel of the song is up-beat and breezy. It’s a contrast that runs through a lot of our music, like a dichotomy between dark melancholia and happier, brighter feelings—whether it’s a happy pop synth riff mixed with dark lyrics or vice versa.”
The video combines iconic visuals from past summer Olympics—such as Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ 1968 Black Power-inspired “cry for freedom and for human rights”—with mesmerizing athletic clips. Plastic Estate’s Stan Fouracres and Nic James art directed the video themselves, creating a strange visual poetry through close-up shots of jumps, dives, sprints, and handshakes.
“The choice to adopt the archival footage of past summer Olympic Games was generally because we found that the physical forms of moving athletes lend themselves to create some interesting shapes and angles mixed with the travelling shapes—they mirror the ideas in the cover artwork,” Fouracres and James explain, referring to the video’s intermittent color blocks. “But also, the nostalgic feel of the older ‘found’ footage blended well with the retrospective sounds within the track.”
“Creating a conceptual idea such as this in these trying circumstances was a strange one. We’ve always enjoyed videos that are pretty abstract so the fact we couldn’t [feature] in it wasn’t the biggest issue. We worked with our very talented friend Aiyush Pachnanda on this one. The man has the patience of a saint ‘cause he was receiving endless reams of notes, reference points, and adjustments to construct what we had in our heads.”