Meric Long has made a name for himself as the singer and guitarist for the San Francisco rock band The Dodos. But all he really wanted to do is dance. "Growing up I had two older sisters who were both into dance," he tells us via email. "I would go to their performances and secretly kind of wish I was on stage."
Long's dream finally comes true in a joyful and utterly captivating new video from the band for the song "Competition." It opens with Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber chilling out in a dressing room. As Long passively strums an acoustic guitar, a stage manager tells him it's time to go. Moments later he's on a giant stage (without his guitar), working through a series of elegant and striking moves choreographed by dancer Katie Gaydos.
"There's a lot of warding off, or scraping away motions," Long says. "The focus of the song is about one's relationship to this feeling of competitiveness, it's overwhelmingness, how it can be consuming when it takes over your motives and you're trying to get rid of it. This being the first time performing dance, there were a lot of things going through my head, but I tried to focus on that and use it while I was moving."
Toward the end of the song, Long is joined on stage by drummer Logan Kroeber for some synchronized robotic moves. "It gets a bit lighter, but it's also meant to convey this idea of musicians feeling the need to do something out of the ordinary in order to compete or stay relevant. In this case, doing something that we are not good at and is secondary to what we normally do."
"Competition" is from the band's latest full-length, Individ, out now on Polyvinyl.