Bicep release gripping David Bertram-directed visual for Saku

Bicep have shared a new music video for their 2020 single Saku, lifted from their forthcoming album Isles. The spiralling visual was directed by David Bertram and we’re premiering it here on Crack Magazine.

Saku is one of two collaborations on Isles between Bicep and vocalist and producer Clara La San, who’s previously worked with the likes of Mssingno and Scratcha DVA. It’s quickly gained favour among Bicep fans in the weeks since its release and has helped build album anticipation alongside other singles such as Atlas.

The new music video was directed by David Bertram. Bertram is part of the Paris-based creative production company Diplomats and has previously created visuals for musicians like Wassailer and Data. The visual Bertram conjured up for the duo was shot over two “intense and exciting” days and tells a story of “teenagehood and emancipation, and the guilt it engenders,” says Bertram. “My wish was to visually symbolise this guilt, as a real trap: the girl can’t manage to leave her doorstep, until her father saves her by understanding her mindset, bringing us to a resolution that we all wanted deep and moving.”

Speaking on his first impressions of the track, Bertram says: “When I received Bicep’s song, Saku, I was struck by two things. The first was the contrast between this sense of urgency conveyed by the beat and the tempo, and the dreamlike floating voices and synths. There’s a very interesting paradox in this song, which is an excellent starting point for a filmmaker.”

“The second is this continuous tone that lasts throughout the whole track, held by the background voice that can be heard behind the instruments. The latter immediately led me to a desire for continuous movement, like a train on rails, a line that never stops moving forward. That’s how I came up with the idea of a single take.”

Bertram’s previously explored some of the key themes and territories presented in the Saku video, the idea of a “psychological playground” being one of them. Meanwhile, Bicep have long opted for emotive music videos that offer a similarly nostalgic and wistful quality to their increasingly signature sound.

Isles is out on 22 January via Ninja Tune. Pre-order here and watch the new visual for Saku below.