Spotlight: Handsome Furs

Since their 2007 debut, the Montreal duo of Dan Boeckner (of Wolf Parade fame) and wife Alexei Perry have charged through the indie universe like a post-punk Bonnie and Clyde, leaving behind a trail of guitar feedback and drum machine smoke. Aside from being one of the most thrilling live acts around right now—perhaps no other two person setup can create such voluminous noise this side of early Black Keys shows—Handsome Furs possess an effortless charisma and a knack for presenting mood, as best displayed in their growing library of self-starring (because really, when you’re this cool, why would you cast anyone else?) music videos. We’ve been thinking about them a lot lately: their third LP and best to date, 2011’s Sound Kapital might be floating in that realm where its undoubtedly been well-received but somehow remains just a tad underrated (spoiler alert: we’re ranking it high). So, in honor of their awesomeness, behold, the Handsome Furs videospective:

[BoxTitle]“Dumb Animals”[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo][/MusicVideo]

When it arrived, “Dumb Animals” was for most the first look at that Wolf Parade guy’s new project on Sub Pop, and first thoughts were that he’d gone sparse, and very dark. In hindsight, knowing what we know now, the band simply got it right on the first try; a fully formed vision of night drives, dim hallways, and sexual undertones.

[BoxTitle]“Cannot Get Started”[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo][/MusicVideo]

Still not really sure what this one is about—some kind of diner missed connection turned tire-burning date, while the pair play to a blank room, with dogs. Regardless, the sepia-toned quick cuts, and Dan’s blazer, not to mention the exceptional song, all help make it effective, if a bit traditional.

[BoxTitle]“I’m Confused”[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo][/MusicVideo]

On their 2009 follow-up Face Control, they returned with a more physical sound and pop sensibility, and what announces that better than a zombie-infested house party? The comical concept may have been unexpected given how serious and grim they’d been to that point, but they sold it so well. Just look at that onscreen chemistry (via goo-kiss finale).

[BoxTitle]“What About Us”[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo][/MusicVideo]

The present day band is a culmination of past strengths—sturdier, more impassioned. And the video for “What About Us” recognized this too well, using the established aesthetic of ominous city nights and golden-hued sexual tension, and pushed it well past previous notions, into NSFW territory.

*concert photo by Victoria Masters

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