Avant-pop group Arthur Moon are more than happy to deconstruct the conventions of typical pop music to make a new, fresh sound. Their recent string of singles, like “I Feel Better” and “Homonormo,” employ typical rhythms like pounding beats and smooth-as-silk synths, while also twisting and distorting them to the point where they’re nearly unrecognizable.
Never has that been more present than on their latest track, “Reverse Conversion Therapy.” The melody employs a chorus of horns to create a moody, atmospheric vibe, before completely dissecting it in the song’s chorus, as wavy guitar licks and disorienting beats take over. “Lift me up, reverse,” lead singer Lora-Faye Åshuvud croons.
The video (directed by Gerard Marcus and Zach Stone) similarly serves to dismantle reality, opening with Åshuvud appearing as a moving painting in a staged desert landscape. But as the video goes on, the singer destroys the illusion, ditching her studio for the real-life Mojave desert, where she exalts in the feeling of being finally freed.
In an interview with Billboard, Åshuvud explains that the song is similar to a rollercoaster -- the verse shows you that a dramatic fall is coming, and yet when it comes in the chorus, you still feel disoriented. “The rhythm of the drops and spins surprises you,” she says. “You can never quite anticipate when you'll next be upside-down, twisted, looking down at the pavement and the people below as if for the first time.”
In terms of the video, the singer says that the video was filmed in the Mojave at sunrise and sunset, in order to capture the desert’s natural beauty. “My quads are still recovering, honestly, and I'm pretty sure there's still some sand in my ears, but it was really worth it.”
Marcus and Stone expanded on the video’s meaning, saying that the visual represents the “personal expansion of reality,” and that the main character is learning to choose their own identity for themselves. “The main character is expanding their perspective to define for themselves who they are rather than being prescribed who they are by outside forces,” they said in a statement to Billboard.
“Reverse Conversion Therapy” is the latest single off of Arthur Moon’s upcoming debut album, due out August 2. Check out the trippy new video below: