The “Tree People” video takes place within an actual pop-up book. It’s a handmade work, with scenes sketched out in watercolour paint. A pair of hands pushes and pulls the levers and opens the flaps, bringing movement and depth to the story.
The video opens with a large outside a nightclub (Club Sandwich), waiting to see the sold-out SJD gig. Inside, SJD takes to the stage and the audience wave their hands in the air like they just don’t care.
The next day SJD goes for a ride in his lowrider (which I’m sure is an accurate real-life detail) and head to the beach. The beach is full of hot chicks in bikinis, who wiggle their bottoms in appreciation. I feel a bit sorry for them. There they are at the beach, but for some reason there are no guys. Then along comes beardy musician in corduroy with a drive-through mic. Well, any port in a storm.
But this life of bitches and money isn’t for SJD. He relaxes on a hillside and sweetly watches the sunset with a bunny rabbit friend. Of course.
This is a very enjoyable video to watch. A lot of effort has gone into the pop-up book, but behind it is a solid narrative, so it’s real pleasure to see all the bits working together.
Best bit: the slowed down beachside bum wiggles – the male gaze on cartridge paper.
Director: Gerald Phillips