The song is accompanied by an incredible animated video directed by Heather Rappard, involving glycerine as paint thinner and painstakingly shot in 15-second increments over the course of three weeks. “Breaking a song down into its tiniest parts actually leaves lots of room to improvise and really consider how to describe it visually,” says Rappard. “I wanted to create a video that morphed and visually changed in the same ways the song does: in the beginning, working with the bright guitar sound and the illustrative qualities of the lyrics, then moving into the abstract at the bridge’s breakdown, to the ending where it completely changes, becoming much noisier and darker with the percussion, spacey synths, and ringing guitar hits.”
Ought’s Tim Darcy on the video:
“The term ‘microcosm’ came to mind when I read Heather Rappard’s accompanying description for ‘Disgraced in America’. The way they worked on the song, second by second, opened up deeper layers than we’re used to. Anyone who’s tried to memorise a lyric or a melody will know how unseen worlds can open up when you dig in like that. Songs can last for days, years, fucking centuries, and then you pull your head out of the brook and maybe 15 seconds have passed.
We are completely honoured and rocked by Heather and Mike’s work, and hope it can take you a few layers deeper, where the clock ticks a bit slower and the drum fills are as big as billboards. Definition of microcosm on dic-tion-ary-dot-com? “A little world.”
On Room Inside the World—the Montreal quartet’s first album for Merge—growing up doesn’t mean mellowing out so much as it means learning to pay attention, listening carefully and openly, staying somewhere long enough to really understand where you are. Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Silver Jews), Room Inside the World explores themes that have always concerned the band—identity, connection, survival in a precarious world—but with a bolder, more nuanced sound palette. Vibraphone, justly intonated synthesizers, drum machines, and a 70-piece choir suffuse the precise post-punk breakdowns that spangled Ought’s first two albums, giving rise to an emotional complexity that pushes their characteristically taut sound to greater depths.