Resident rock weirdos The Flaming Lips have teamed with the likewise eccentric singer Erykah Badu for what is perhaps the weirdest video in either of their discographies.
Culled from the Lips’ recent Record Store Day release “Heady Fwends,” “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” is a slow, sparse slab of psychedelia that features a subdued Badu on vocals (Lips frontman Wayne Coyne doesn’t sing), and the just-released video matches the sonic template.
Certainly NSFW (unless you work in a glitter factory or a strip club or something), the video is entirely in slow motion and offers close-ups of the Lips band members doing their strange instrumentation thing (Coyne appears to be playing a silver ribbon), while Badu sings naked in a bathtub. Then, Badu’s sister, Nayrok, proves just how un-shy she is by displaying her completely naked body in various positions, and covered in various substances — water, blood, a sticky white liquid (we’ll just say milk) and, of course, glitter. It’s strange, gross, sexy and hypnotic all at the same time. Again, it’s definitely not safe for work/school. Fair warning.
UPDATE: The video was removed according to Erykah-Badu.com because it was the unapproved un-edited version. Here’s the full statement:
“The video link that was erroneously posted on Pitchfork by the Flaming Lips of the Music Video ‘The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face’, which features Erykah Badu, is unedited and unapproved.. Sorry!! We, the Flaming Lips, accept full responsibility for prematurely having Pitchfork post it. It has outraged and upset a segment of fans and we apologize if we offended any viewers!!! This is a Flaming Lips video which features Erykah Badu and her sister Nayrok and is not meant to be considered an Erykah Badu or Nayrok statement, creation, or approved version.”
The song, originally written by Ewan MacColl and recorded by Roberta Flack, has been covered by everyone from Johnny Cash to Celina Dion. Except they didn’t have glitter and naked ladies.
“Heady Fwends” also includes collaborations with Bon Iver, Coldplay, Biz Markie, Ke$ha, Lightning Bolt and more.