Uni – Electric Universe

It doesn’t seem like all that long ago when we were raving about “The Girl Who Has It All” from Uni. Here we are again, because there they go again – sharing the visual goods behind “Electric Universe”. The video dropped today. Yes.

The band’s approach of avoiding a ‘big album’ release, and preferring to share 7″ records across a certain timeframe – just like bands did in the olden days – is a winning mentality. The sense of occasion that’s so often missing these days, is sense that the band excels in. We’re not talking about hype, or controversy, or Twitter flame wars – we’re talking about good old-fashioned occasion. The sense of event, and timeliness, is focus for Nico Fuzz, David Strange, and Charlotte Kemp Muhl. Kemp Muhl once again takes the director’s chair, pointing the camera at this glam-psychedelic excursion.

The celebratory, metamodern take on rock ‘n’ roll is deeply refreshing. The self-awareness that drips sex, humor, darkness, and triumph across their tracks is unique and unforced – the band know what they’re doing. They know what buttons they’re pushing – at the centre of the “Electric Universe” is an atmosphere of liberation – unbridled freedom.

Fans of Uni will be aware of the band’s deep and genuine affection for Marc Bolan / T-Rex and the spirit of glam that informed canyon-straddling guitar licks of the glittery era. That shit is turned all the way up on this latest track. It’s a sneaky trick – slipping the band’s name into the titular Uni-verse, and these four minutes and forty-four seconds scan like a manifesto of the band.

There’s a spaced-out choral track, a bass hook that sounds like someone playing with syrup in the bedsheets, and a lead vocal that’s as hypnotic as any falsetto Bolan committed to wax. The sense of scale that Uni concern themselves with exploring is remarkable. Splash cymbals, and singular notes that drop away in resonance fall into banks of stabbing strings. This isn’t a pastiche of the tradition that the band clearly loves – this is a reimagining of possibility, and like everything Uni touches – it’s articulated like fried gold.

The video continues the sparkly thread laid out in previous releases. Hyper-aware, hyper-sexy, splashes of psychedelic color are thrown all across this dark-rocking groove. David Strange, who makes eye-liner his own – approaches his twin-neck guitar like a weapon. Nico Fuzz is simply beautiful. Kemp Muhl knows how to fill her boots. Low camera silhouettes thrown by the band are nothing short of iconic. It’s hard to think of any other rock video released this week, this month, that captures the sensibility of a band in performance as well as “Electric Universe”.

The magic of Uni lies in their ability to frame themselves well in wide and micro lenses. Their lyrical content is shrewd enough to avoid the pitfalls of lesser bands working in genre. The Uni-verse is not all nipple-tape and pythons – but this video lets us pretend, at least for a while.





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