Daliesque Music Video Makes New York a Digital Nightmare

Try not to get too spooked by Dan W. Jacobs' new music video for English singer Douglas Dare.

by Nathaniel Ainley
05 October 2016, 3:45pm

GIF and screencaps by the author, via

Take a cryptic digital tour of the Big Apple in a new music video for London-based singer Douglas Dare's ominous new single, "New York," off his upcoming sophomore album Aforger (out October 14th on Erased Tapes). The video was directed by Dan W. Jacobs, the English animator who once collaborated with Inventions for their beautiful "Superworlds" music video. For his latest, Jacobs builds an intimate narrative animation that takes an abstract look at the the singer’s life during some of his most vulnerable moments.

We explore the video’s setting through a fleeting light source that zips around town, briefly illuminating different pockets of the city. Jacobs creates a Daliesque digital universe that’s been dipped in black, white, and different shades of gray. The only thing that isn't monochrome in the video is our protagonist, a fractured waxy 3D model of the singer that stumbles through a desert wasteland on through an abandoned virtual metropolis. The animator writes, “Working in 3D enabled us to stick very close to the original ideas behind the track—the idea of a fragmented/distorted or romanticized memory of a place, and being unable to distinguish between what was real and what is imaginary, or influenced by other imagery.”

Aforger considers two major milestones in Dare’s life: when he came out to his father and when he learned that his longtime partner had been cheating behind his back. The singer writes, “New York is a song that's literally describing that very real feeling of not knowing who or what to believe any more—scary and magical at the same time.”

Jacobs’ animations carefully follow the terrain of the song: the speed and intensity of his visuals move in sync with the rise and fall of the music. Lyrically, Dare says he wanted to be as honest as possible. The album deals so much with dishonesty that he decided to counterbalance the subject matter with overtly honest writing. Dare said he was inspired by Björk’s Vulnicura album and “how everything is almost awkward in its honesty.” Visit Douglas Dare's "New York" below:

Douglas Dare - New York (Official Music Video) from Erased Tapes on Vimeo.

Douglas Dare’s new Aforger album is set to release on October 14th via Erased Tapes. Pre-order your copy here.

Check out more works by Dan W. Jacobs on his website.

And catch Dare on tour with Wild Beasts in a city near you:

10.04 London (UK) - Roundhouse*

10.11 Amsterdam (NL) - Paradiso

10.12 Brussels (BE) - Botanique*

10.13 Paris (FR) - L'Espace B

10.14 Lille (FR) - Grand Mix*

10.15 Strasbourg (FR) - La Laiterie*

10.16 Cologne (DE) - Luxor*

10.18 Copenhagen (DK) - Pumpehuset*

10.19 Berlin (DE) - Berghain Kantine

10.21 Prague (CZ) - Lucerna M Bar*

10.23 Zurich (CH) - Rote Fabrik*

10.25 Milan (IT) - Magnolia*

10.26 Lyon (FR) - Epcierie Moderne*

*in support of Wild Beasts


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New York
music video
Douglas Dare
ERased Tapes
dan w. jacobs