Meet Fred, a quirky fictional character that frolics through the music videos of electro-funk group Lemaitre.
Fred likes to hobby dive. Fred likes to dance on stage in his scuba gear. Fred also makes foley, otherwise known as everyday sound effect production for movies. Fred is single.
All of his fictional talents and more are showcased in Lemaitre’s simple, yet cinematically gorgeous videos. In fact, the band’s videos rarely present anything outside the realm of Fred. Consistently devoid of the cliche tropes of love and partying, they instead like to focus on the man of the hour. Well, him and science and magic and POW torture.
That’s because the group, who transplanted to the U.S. from Oslo, Norway, downright refuses to write about love. To them, love is pointless; it’s been done. It’s far more interesting to explore the sonically uncharted realms of physics, biology, chemistry, oceanography and … everything else.
“We try not to write songs about love, and we definitely are not writing songs about partying, because that’s lame to make a song about partying that you play at a party,” says Lund. There’s just too much of it out there. Instead, they find beauty in scientific theories, which they find metaphorically having deeper meanings behind them, some meanings which the duo create themselves as well.
Lyrics from songs like “Blue Shift” and “Strobes Pt. 2” loosely revolve around phenomena like the Doppler Effect but when accompanied by insanely catchy bass lines and electronic beats reminiscent of Daft Punk’s Discovery era, it becomes clear that their songs place an equitable emphasis on structure and melody as they do on describing wavelengths and frequencies.
Which brings us back to Fred.
In their video for “Fiction” we open on a startlingly comedic entrance by Fred with an armful of potted plants. As he tests the workability of his “instruments,” the track kicks off into a soundtrack as he works his magic imitating sounds that match actions shown on a projector. Eventually Fred’s efforts become an epic dance jam as he thrashes for sounds that go beyond the everyday. A flashing moment of intimacy appears on the projector, a moment Fred can’t replicate; at which point he resolves by dancing his ass off instead as if to say “love is irrelevant, here is my butt.”
Fred’s unusual talents and the interplay between music and science continue in “Wait.” This time he’s a hobby diver who rises from the“waters of interest,” stumbles upon a music festival and goes nuts.
In “All I Need” both Fred and science get much-needed day off. In their place is a Ron Swanson-esque magician who performs to a lackluster crowd and some mystical thematics that retain Lemaitre’s disdain for love and partying while proving they can put the chemistry books down in the name of something a little freakier. Porn for nerds, to the max.
I for one find Lemaitre’s expanded lyrical subject matter really refreshing … although, when it really comes down to it, are love and partying not just biochemical reactions in their own right? Maybe we’ll see them tackle that issue in their next video … but in the meantime, you can come see them forsake love for gravity this Friday June 19th at The Roxy along with StarRo.
Tickets riiiiiight here.