Brow Beat

Merrill Garbus Gets Trapped in a Mannequin Factory for the “Real Thing” Music Video

Garbus in a box.

Still from YouTube

Tune-Yards, Merrill Garbus’ idiosyncratic indie outfit, released third album Nikki Nack earlier this year to wide acclaim. Strongly influenced by Haitian drumming and dance, the record stirred Garbus’ usual melting pot of influences into a sort of polyrhythmic potpourri. That hodgepodge is aptly illustrated in the video for “Real Thing,” which is equal parts slapstick, surreal, and terrifying.

In a press release, Garbus noted that “Real Thing” was “the one song I didn’t want to make a video for,” though that sentiment was outweighed by a keen desire “for this particular song to be heard.” And how—director Tom Jobbins, whose “Charlie Chaplin-like” idea of a mannequin factory run amok was deemed suitably far-out, does justice to the track with a video that features some trippy animation, Garbus trapped in a box, and three mannequin sisters who may or may not show up in my nightmares. Garbus eventually gets out of that box, but the video will be stuck in your head.