Local musician and multimedia artist Nuancer — whose real name is Daniel DiMarchi — has released a new music video that will either gross you out, turn you on or make you feel hungry. DiMarchi is not new to spectacle and shock value, as he is involved in a number of local projects that have made a big splash in Denver by not sticking to the norm. He is one-half of local alien invaders from outer space, Babelord, and plays guitar in Oxeye Daisy, both of whom are known for their outlandish and out-of-the-box performance styles. Most recently, Oxeye Daisy over the summer projected the music video for their song “Wanting” onto the side of the Daniels and Fisher Building in Downtown Denver. At the Underground Music Showcase in 2019, Babelord stuck in many people’s minds because they walked around the festival in shiny, chrome outfits telling attendees their spaceship had just crash-landed nearby.
So as a fairly established local weirdo, of course, Nuancer’s newest music video is wonderfully weird in visual presentation and distinct in its indie sound. Running compressed drums through a fuzz pedal gives Nuancer’s “Gemini” that warm lo-fi sound that’s become so familiar in indie-pop. His vocals recall the voices of Panda Bear and Avey Tare from Animal Collective (fun fact, the album Sung Tongs by Animal Collective was recorded here in Colorado) in its swinging, wigwag timbre. By warping the vocals with a speck of autotune here and a dab of delay there, Nuancer adds a bit of flair on parts of his instrumentation that doesn’t necessarily sound overly complex in rhythm or melody, thus creating an idiosyncratic style of accessible pop.
Keeping the structure of his music simplistic à la Homeshake gives Nuancer more room to take risks on other facets of the musicality. Take, for example, the lyrics — the song has an overall upbeat feel to the melody, but the lyrics are surprisingly dark and complex. “When did being rich become the singular activity?” Nuancer asks listeners, an observation no doubt borne from the unbridled growth in wealth of the top 1% of the world during a pandemic. “Living at home feels like I’m in captivity/Looking online, seeing forced positivity/Staying inside, develop photosensitivity,” directly remarks upon feeling trapped as the world keeps grinding despite growing dysphoria, and the confounding doublespeak of keeping calm at a time like this.
The music video features DiMarchi’s head singing directly into the camera while a barrage of fun visual effects flicker past in quick succession. Mainly focusing the effects on manipulating his eyes, DiMarchi’s disembodied head sings in swirls of optical illusions and magnified distortions, eventually landing inside a crystal ball. The focus then sharply switches to globs of pastel frosting plopping all over his face and open mouth, and eventually the rest of his bare upper body. Sprinkles pour over the frosting, sticking to it and turning DiMarchi into a gooey human donut. Furthermore, if watching a man get coated with sticky frosting is your kink, or if you’re just a donut lover, this video is for you.
The music video for “Gemini” is also available to stream on all platforms now.