Swedish-Belgian avant-pop duo Victoria + Jean have risen to prominence across Europe for a slinky, seductive material based around Jean’s swaggering, bluesy guitar work and Victoria’s sensual vocals. A song like “Why Won’t You,” the impressive and forceful first single off the band’s V&J EP evokes an urgent, carnal desire and aching loneliness.
The duo’s latest single “Firecracker” was originally written much like an old blues song – the sort of old timey blues of Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins and others, in which you can almost literally smell cigarettes, whiskey, sawdust and sweat; however, as they continued to work on the song, it became more of an percussive, angular electro pop song completed with layered vocals and skittering and buzzing synths. As the song quickly builds up in intensity it heightens the song’s opening song and refrain “You’ve been living on sweet cocaine."
If anything, "Firecracker” continues to cement the duo’s reputation for crafting a sound that is evidently bluesy (and visceral) but doesn’t hew to any sort of traditional blues structure while possessing an art school sheen.
Directed by Christopher Thockler, the official video has 550 marbles rolled into a variety of geometric patterns. Lights are blasted at the marbles, creating colorful explosions of lights; some of the marbles were shaved down to power, to create a glittering effect. The moving marbles evoke the frenetic energy of the song – while being a rather interesting image.