Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe have just finished screaming into each other’s faces. It’s a rainy Tuesday night at the Gramercy Hotel’s Rose Bar, and the singers are catching their breath before a wide-eyed crowd that witnessed the pair howling over the din of the band behind them. Wolfe and Laessig — who together provide the singular voice of indie-pop quintet Lucius — are used to sharing a microphone.
Laessig squints in the direction of Griffith Park; Wolfe does the same from behind huge mod sunglasses. A rooster is losing its mind somewhere below, and Laessig keeps laughing at it. The shades hide the burns on Wolfe’s face from the day before, inflicted by a series of prosthetics she’d worn on the “Gone Insane” shoot. The concept for the video came to her in a dream, though she laughs that it was likely informed by the scene from Mrs. Doubtfire in which a rubbery mold is made of Robin Williams’s face. On the drive up to the Mountain, Wolfe shares clips on her phone of the previous day of shooting: To create the effect of Laessig’s fingers working Wolfe’s features like Silly Putty, the video had to be shot in stop- motion, with Wolfe spending hours in the makeup chair before slowly mouthing the words to the song while the camera rolled. In one shot, Laessig uses her thumb to smush Wolfe’s eyebrow and nose into a ghoulish aspect; in another, her hand passes over Wolfe’s mouth, stretching her nose down over her chin and erasing her lips entirely. The effects are exceptional, but for each angle and Dalí-esque expression, Wolfe had distorted eyebrows and adhesive skin applied and removed, and the process took its toll. —Hilary Hughes