New Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ‘Despair’

Watch Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Despair" video.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs rock out at the Empire State Building in their “Despair” video.

Since forming in 2000, New York City’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs have built a lost-standing art-rock empire, resulting in iconic mid-aughts albums like Fever To Tell and Show Your Bones and singles like the groundbreaking “Maps.” That said, it feels rather serendipitous that the band would opt to film their “Despair” video at NYC’s Empire State Building, seeing as they share not only a decade of history with each other, but a similar amount of time with the city itself.

Also, would you believe that Yeah Yeah Yeahs are the first band to EVER film a video at the ESB? Ironic, right? We thought for sure Jay-Z would’ve gotten there first.

Watch Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Despair” video after the jump.

The latest single from their fourth disc, Mosquito, the Patrick Daughters-directed video opens with a blonde Karen O looking passed/strung out at a bar. But before long, she picks herself up, knocks over some drinks, stands on the table, and sings a few encouraging lines about friendship. “From beginning to middle to end/ Don’t despair, you’re there.”

And speaking of friends, Karen’s bandmates are on their way to meet up with her — at the Empire State Building. (Er, that’s my cue to re-watch “Sleepless In Seattle.” Back in two hours!) Once assembled on the building’s observation deck, “Despair”‘s slow-building guitars kick in, and the band rocks out with NYC’s sparkling lights as a backdrop.

Of their decision to film at the Empire State Building, Karen told Consequence of Sound: “I felt like I could give as personal a performance because of our history together. It was important to us that it felt intimate despite being filmed at one of NYC’s most famous landmarks and an international cultural icon. It was my first-ever trip up to the top of the ESB, top of the world, we were up there from 3 a.m. to sunrise, I’m guessing very few get to see that view from up there at those hours.”

Indeed, as the sun rises, “Despair” shifts into high gear, with Karen euphorically chanting “My sun is your sun/ Your sun is our sun,” as she joyfully twirls around the observation deck. Guess we’d be pretty happy, too, if we’d managed to musically conquer one of the toughest industries and cities in the world. Twirl on, Karen!

+ Watch Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Despair” video.

Photo credit: Interscope Records