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Michel Gondry Surprised Jack White with a Music Video, and It's The Sweetest

The first new White Stripes in eight years gets the perfect music video.

by Beckett Mufson
Sep 14 2016, 4:00pm

Screencap via

To celebrate Jack White's new release, Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998 - 2016, longtime collaborator Michel Gondry's created a steamy music video for the White Stripes' "City Lights." "Third Man Records is pleased to share the genius surprise gift they received from their friend Michel Gondry," reads a statement from the White Stripes, Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather frontman. "On his own and without anyone's knowledge, the legendary filmmaker shot a video for 'City Lights,' which he sent them the other night." The video speaks to the deep relationship they've developed over the course of their collaborations on "Fell in Love With a Girl," "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground," "The Hardest Button to Button," and "The Denial Twist."

Gondry's camera spends the course of the five-minute video locked onto a glass shower door enveloped in steam. An unseen bather draws simple illustrations of faces, places, and emotional images like clasped hands and extreme close-ups of eyes. Each new image begins as the previous one fades, evoking the feeling of unquantifiable memories shared between old friends. "When I was drawing, I felt I had 100% freedom," Gondry says in our 2013 documentary about his animated film about Noam Chomsky, and that sentiment is still present in the jazzy illustration that drives "City Lights."

"City Lights" was originally intended for the 2005 album Get Behind Me Satan, but was forgotten until White finished it this year, making the track the first new White Stripes song to be released since 2008. Brace yourself for nostalgia as you check out Gondry's video below.

Learn more about Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 here. Keep up with Michel Gondry's work on his website.

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