Happiness isn’t always fun. Take it from Shepherds, who’ve just unleashed their new video for the mood piece, “Tension,” off their album, Exit Youth. Directed by Laura Asherman, the video opens with two young ladies on a playground who, at first glance, seem dour and melancholy. With heads bowed, they’re confronted by the stoic faces of Jonathan Merenivitch, Adrian Switon, and Peter Cauthorn who look like they’ve just witnessed a grisly car accident on the way home from picking up a pizza. Suddenly, the ladies burst into a fit of unrestrained exuberance and adolescent mischief, but, as we come to find, it’s gonna take more than a house party to break this trio out of their icy trance.
You don’t need to be a detective to spot the dark trails of psychedelia radiating throughout youthful desperation, ennui, and late-stage capitalism in the city. They can be felt everywhere from dilapidated strip mall parking lots to daycare centers to Wells Fargo ATM machines. The quaint living room where this video was shot is certainly no exception. After a while one can’t help but stare off into the distance and wonder how it all could have come to this.
This is a classic portrait of killing time while you’re waiting for the acid to kick in. The girls delight in groping the boys like mannequins and snatching the sunglasses off their faces; all the while these guys can’t seem to be too bothered by any of it. Don’t be fooled by first impressions, though, because what seems to be some innocuous fun and games eventually plunges into a purple-lit spectacle of mayhem with Shepherds faithfully providing the soundtrack to a night with the Manson girls.