Shynola Imagines Coldplay in 2-D


Known for their strange, darkly comic and occasionally disturbing images of aliens and alt-rock, British art collective Shynola (i.e. “you don’t know shit from shoe polish) offers a more light-hearted, whimsical vision in their latest music video, for Coldplay’s “Strawberry Swing.” In the clip, Chris Martin dons Superman-style tights and cape in an animated adventure that takes him underwater, into the sky, fighting squirrel monsters and saving a princess, all rendered against a 2-D chalk-drawn background. The short’s clincher comes in its wry conclusion, which deconstructs the illusion of everything that came before.
Shynola—Chris Harding, Richard Kenworthy, Jason Groves and Gideon Baws, who tragically died last year—may not be as famous as music video directors Michel Gondry and Chris Cunningham, but their innovative animated adventures are among the highlights of the world wide web. The crew first turned heads with UNKLE’s video for “Guns Blazing,” a freaky sci-fi hodgepodge filled with pesky aliens. In 2001, the group created two awe-inspiring spots, the haunting computer-generated undersea world of Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song” and UNKLE’s “Eye for an Eye,” an eerie story about a group of innocent primitive creatures overrun by an infestation of evil insectoid monsters that take over their bodies. It’s weird, frightful stuff.


Shynola’s award-winning music video for Queens Of The Stone Age’s “Go With The Flow” is another stunner, a psychedelic black-and-red road-trip through the desert. Videos for Beck (“E-Pro”) and Blur (“Good Song”), a simply-drawn black-and-white love story between a flying little creature and a squirrel that turns horribly wrong offers further proof of Shynola’s moody imagination and wry sense of humor.

“Strawberry Swing” will be released September 14 on Parlophone as a digital download.