“I don’t know what’s going on, but I like it,” reads one comment on HotChip’s new video for “Night and Day.” We had a very similar firstreaction to the Peter Serafinowicz-directed video, which featuresspaceships, synchronized dancing, men in boxers, men in hoodie-robes,and a rather scary-looking old man. The space setting is not a particularly strange choice for Serafinowicz; the extremely tall actor-composer-writer and, it seems, sporadic director, has voiced three different “Darth” characters, from Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I to Darth Chef in South Park.
After several viewings, we’ve decided the narrative is as follows: an evil-looking, white-haired humanities professor (Terence Stamp) splits a spaceship into two, one of which is driven by Lara Stone, another of which is driven by Reggie Watts. Lara and Reggie are mere puppets—putty in the hands of the Professor—their actions are determined by a group of dancing space-priest minions—female priests for Lara and male priests for her adversary. Professor’s ultimate goal: to reunite the two his way and create a better world. Sadly, it doesn’t end well.
As for the non-literal narrative, there is a strange racial world-peace current—merging of white and black into a yin-yang—but it seems too blatant to be serious. Instead, we’re going to go with a slightly more subtle message about musical genres. Hot Chip are, after all, one of those genre bridging (or breaking) indie-electro-dance-whatever groups and from the lyrics, it seems they want us to know that they are not: ABBA, Gabba, Zappa or rap (Zapp is okay though). If we’re honest, however, our take-home message from this video is a simple one: “We should do more synchronized dancing!”