Smerz’s ‘Have Fun’ video is a sparkly nightmare

Norwegian duo SMERZ have been making waves with experimental electro-pop since their debut EP dropped last year, and their new video for ‘Have Fun’ is an instant classic. Blurring genres like footwork, R&B and techno, ‘Have Fun’ is a sugary sweet track with a disconcerting back beat, exploring the inevitable awkwardness of social interactions.

Catharina Stoltenberg and Henriette Motzfeldt are the two women behind Smerz, with classical training in violin and theatre. The pair produced, programmed and sung ‘Have Fun’ themselves, like all their music, and even produced and directed the video. “Nothing is embarrassing,” chants the distorted vocal loop, while the scattered beats unsettle the track. The video is all forced smiles and stiff poses for the camera, encapsulating the familiar atmosphere of a gorgeous party where you’re not quite sure what to do with your hands.

“For us it’s about all those social situations where you can suddenly feel a bit distanced or forced,” the band told DAZED. “It’s staged to a classic Oslo Christmas prom pre-party, as this is maybe a situation where these dynamics, for some, become more present than usual. I think the song can reflect this ongoing stream of thoughts inside your head when you are trying to make yourself comfortable in a situation where you’re maybe not that comfortable. You are talking to yourself.”

The insightful video for ‘Have Fun’ takes the song’s implied social commentary to another level, representing a lonely experience in a collective way. With subtle images, atmospheric beats and evocative phrases, Smerz combine the best of all their varied influences into an addictive ball of fairy floss with a gloriously bitter aftertaste.

Image: Lin Agnholt

Words by Molly McLaughlin

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The first album Molly ever purchased was Avril Lavigne’s pioneering 2002 debut, ‘Let Go’. She stands by that decision.