Ngaiire has shared a high-concept music video for her single ‘Closer’, following the track’s release last month.
Directed by Adam Kiers, the clip sees Ngaiire (who also served as its creative director) perform amidst a lush oceanside setting as masked figures – representing members of a cult – dance around her.
“When I brought the project to Adam Kiers, I’d already worked on the concept for about two months prior, starting first with painting the single cover then extracting the aesthetic from that,” she said in a press statement.
“I’d presented him with a pretty elaborate story board complete with a full arsenal of costume designs, hair and makeup briefs and as much info as I could throw at him. I essentially wanted to create my own mini cult film with a limited budget, which gave everyone on the team multiple heart attacks.”
Watch the video for ‘Closer’ below:
When Ngaiire released the single in May, she described it as a “sweaty ’80s summer love song”, based on her observations of love, sex and dating as a child raised in post-colonial Papua New Guinea.
Those themes are translated vividly in the film clip, following the story of two lovers (played by real-life partners Sela Vai and Mark Turner, the former of whom choreographed the clip) forced to repress their feelings for each other, lest they upset the age-old beliefs of the cult they’re in.
“The cult represents uniformity, culture, religion [and] ideology, with the angular choreography further meant to reflect the militant and sometimes absurd ways in which we choose to move as groups of people,” Ngaiire explained.
“The lovers represent the yearning to live outside of the boxes but unable to because of the perimeters that are there.”
Ngaiire noted that she was cautious not to overplay her appearance in the ‘Closer’ video, opting to keep the narrative focus primarily on Vai and Turner. “I also serve to represent a choice made,” she explained, “To be loud and proud against the backdrop of what society wants to dictate to me what I should act like – which is not a multi-faceted black woman.”
‘Closer’ serves as the third single from Ngaiire’s forthcoming album ‘3’, which is set for release on August 27 through Dot Dash/Remote Control, and also features the singles ‘Shiver’ and ‘Boom’. The track was co-written with Japanese Wallpaper and Jack Grace, the latter of whom Ngaiire also produced the album with.
The singer-songwriter will launch ‘Closer’ in concert at Sydney’s Factory Theatre this Saturday (June 12), performing two headline sets.
She was due to perform in Melbourne on May 28, but postponed her shows in response to the city’s recent COVID-19 outbreak. The dates have now been rescheduled for Wednesday June 30, where she’ll play early and late sets at the Corner Hotel.
Next month, a piece based on Ngaiire’s track ‘Fall Into My Arms’, developed by visual artists Laura Jones, Holly Greenwood, Nicholas Harding, Leila Jeffreys and Guy Maestri, will be showcased at the 2021 Art of Music exhibition in Sydney.