Oh Baby

Grace Pope

Death, the unknown, and indecipherable equations run amok in LCD Soundsystem’s Oh Baby, a miniature sci-fi tragedy. This video, directed by Rian Johnson (dir:Star Wars: The Last Jedi), starring Sissy Spacek and David Strathairn, brings us a wonderfully melancholic video almost a year after their return to music.

After breaking up in 2011, LCD Soundsystem released their fourth studio album, American Dream, in late 2017. They released the album’s fourth single, Oh Baby, in September of this year featuring a video directed by Rian Johnson.

It opens on close ups of wringing hands; a pencil furiously scribbling out equations at a blistering pace, leaving the viewer wondering just who the author is. Spacek and Strathairn play an elderly scientist couple on the cusp of breakthrough. With a blurred out equation, their search for answers is over.

We see their project in its full glory: a teleportation device. In a horrible twist of events, Spacek is shot. Strathairn stands by Spacek’s side and carries her out to their creaton. As the final words are sung and the last chord is sounded, Strathairn, carrying Spacek, steps through the threshold and into the machine, cutting power before appearing out the other side.

Blending sci-fi with the dynamics of an old relationship, Johnson has delivered a captivating video. Regarding the video, the frontman of LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy, said, “My goal would be that it works as a video for the song and the song works as a good soundtrack of the film [rather] than a video that serves the song”, a goal which Johnson has undeniably achieved. Now with mainstream success, Johnson has showed that he still has the strength of his indie roots, despite now leading a new Star Wars trilogy.

LCD Soundsystem members Nancy Whang and Gavin Rayna Russom began touring as The Ladies Of LCD Soundsystem on the 18th of October. Johnson has begun shooting for his upcoming film, Knives Out, a “Murder mystery starring Daniel Craig,” in November.

Giving us a wonderfully deep video companion to an already moving song, this song leaves us with a sense of bleakness and provides more questions than answers.