Watch Lawrence Rothman's Beautiful And Brutal 'Decade' Video Lawrence Rothman's latest music video, directed by Floria Sigismondi, is a mesmerizing and unsettling spectacle.
NPR logo Watch Lawrence Rothman's Beautiful And Brutal 'Decade' Video

Watch Lawrence Rothman's Beautiful And Brutal 'Decade' Video

Lawrence Rothman's videos certainly have an aesthetic that matches the artist sonically: Androgynous modern/dirty art wrapped up in a desert landscape and a guaranteed smoke machine. This is, in part, thanks to having a brilliant collaborative partner in director Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways, The Handmaid's Tale) who has directed many of the NPR Slingshot artist's videos. "Decade" is the first track from an upcoming mini-album, I Know I've Been Wrong, But Can We Talk.

Rothman, who uses "them/they/their" pronouns and is gender-fluid, is a visual chameleon and never seems to have the same look year to year. In "Decade," Sigismondi uses Rothman's image, along with similarly-costumed characters, in a contrasting backdrop of a seemingly heteronormative, mid-century modern house.

Massive amounts of tension run between Rothman and their costar, Denna Thomsen, a beautiful, nearly featureless actor who clearly has a dance background. This is the second video they both appear in, the first being for Rothman's song "Oath" that showed the couple outside in the desert at dusk. "Decade" incorporates a few of the same elements as "Oath," but goes deeper into this tormented relationship. Infectious yet subtle pop melody accompanies Rothman's monotone voice, emulating a mixture of Nico and Peter Murphy. Halfway through, the song's peak hits with the line, "I'm starting to believe that your first true love don't ever disappear no matter how far you run." As the lyric rings out, the visual shows the two main characters going from physically fighting in one shot to holding each other tenderly in the next. The dramatic push-pull Rothman intended comes across even more so because of this stunning visual.


I Know I've Been Wrong, But Can We Talk comes out Nov. 9th via Downtown Records